KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Krishon Harris isn’t your typical 17-year-old despite what he says.
“I’m just a high school student who’s just doing my part in the world,” he said.
But the Rockhurst High senior did something pretty incredible. He built a rare type of prosthetic arm for a metro boy born without one.
“Try to be the best person I can be every day,” Harris said.
Fox 4 caught up with Harris, volunteering at the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired as part of his senior project.
In recent weeks, he’s received a lot of praise for helping a 4-year-old boy named Hudson who was born without a forearm. Harris built him a prosthetic arm, using a 3-D printer.
“He had a really big smile on his face,” Harris said of the 4-year-old. “He kind of knew it was coming, but he didn’t know what it would look like. And we made it Chiefs themed, so he was really excited.”
But the task came with its own set of challenges.
“The one that me and Hudson chose together, there has never been an arm that has been built that small,” Harris said. “There are like eight different parts, and some pieces we could go smaller and make it work. But some pieces, if we made them too small, they would be brittle, and they would break.”
With a lot of trial and error — and with the help of the original design creator — Harris was able to build the perfect model.
“He’ll be able to move his arm, his elbow in and then the fingers will clinch so he can grip stuff,” Harris said.
Harris is part of his school’s STEAM Studio, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. Kansas city nonprofit Variety KC reached out to Rockhurst’s STEAM adviser for help.
Harris said adviser Mandi Sonnenberg, who is a Rockhurst University professor, knew the tech-savvy teen was the perfect person to head the project.
It took six weeks to build, but in the end, it fit like a charm.
Now, Harris is gearing up to pay it forward.
“We’re going to have some kids do the project,” Harris said. “They’re going to be building an arm, and I am going to be the head of them, teaching them what they need to learn about 3-D printing and coding.”
Harris said in the coming months, he’ll mentor a team of middle school students who will complete the same task.
The 17-year-old said he wants to be a television producer or filmmaker and plans to attend Emerson College or Loyola Marymount University in the fall. Harris is also part of his school’s Human Dignity Club.
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