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Buffalo teenagers build prosthetic arms for kids

Local seven-year-old born with one hand.
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Posted at 6:25 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 18:37:48-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Local high school students are building adaptive devices for children through the AT&T Hand in Hand program sponsored by WNY Stem Hub. The free summer program helps teach a diverse group of students about digital literacy and the impact technology can have on the community.

This year, the students are creating a prosthetic arm for seven-year-old Josiah Reid Clark, who was born with one hand.

“The students are the ones that make adjustments,” Simone Ragland, the WNY STEM Hub Executive Director said. “In this case, they created a specialized hand for him to use on his dirt bike. They had to design something that would allow him to do that.”

Josiah’s dad, Joel Reid Clarke, said his son is inspiring and does what typical little boys do.

“He’s a normal kid,” Clark said. “He does everything. He plays soccer, plays basketball, skateboards, rollerblades, dirt bike.”

He learned to do everything with one hand.

“He’s shown us he does everything,” Clark said. “He plays videogames with his nub. He’s a Fortnite fan.”

While he has adapted to use one hand, Josiah is excited to have a second.

“He’s been talking about this the whole week! He’s so eager to try it on with his bike,” Clarke said.

High school senior, Elias Humphrey, said it’s such a rewarding experience to create an arm for a child.

“To see him now and bring his idea to life with the colors he wanted and everything, it’s very impactful,” Humphrey said. “I want to be a mechanical engineer. This helps me run the mechanics and use 3D printers.”

The students still have to make the final touches on Josiah's new arm. He requested black panther and space jam colors. The new prosthetic will be done by the fall. As for these high school students, they plan to send adaptive devices to Ghana as their program continues.