Paralyzed student walks across graduation stage (includes video story)

Seven years after 25-year-old student, Khalil Watson, was left paralyzed from the neck down after being shot in Virginia, he finally got to walk across the graduation stage at Reynolds Community College in Richmond.

In May 2016, Watson was forced to watch his high school graduation ceremony from a hospital bed while recovering from the shooting. Since then, he has been working to reach a sense of normalcy. He learned how to use a robotic exoskeleton to walk — and to how to speak and move all over again.

“It felt great knowing that all of my hard work has paid off, and I am being rewarded and acknowledged,” said Watson.

Watson usually had to use public transportation to get to school, but when that failed, he rode his chair all the way to campus.

The graduate plans to continue his education by pursuing a master’s degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in social work. He wants to do what he can to help those who are in unfortunate and challenging circumstances.

“I just want to let them know that anything is possible, and despite their circumstances, just keep going,” Watson said.

It is safe to say many are going to “keep going” not only because of the work he will inevitably achieve upon becoming a social worker, but because they have now heard the story of a resilient young man.

Aidan Chacon is a senior student at FIU, pursuing his Digital Broadcasting degree. He is
passionate about sports, journalism within the field of sports, and multimedia production within the wide and broad world of sports. He enjoys following professional sports, producing and posting sports content on social media, and expanding his knowledge on content creation and sports media production.