Southern Regional Tech student reinventing the wheel

Southern Regional Tech student reinventing the wheel

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A student at Southern Regional Technical College in Thomasville is reinventing something he believes will change the world for many.

At 22-years-old, Ben Huntzinger's life changed forever.

Now, he gets places by rolling rather than walking, but it hasn't slowed him down yet.

“If I quit, then the wheelchair wins,” said Huntzinger.

Ben Huntzinger (Source: WALB)
Ben Huntzinger (Source: WALB)

So, he’s reinventing the wheel, well the wheelchair to be more precise.

Because of his invention he's no longer confined to the limitations of a wheelchair.

"I can roll over anything, I can go anywhere, I can hunt, I can fish, I can kayak,” Huntzinger.

Huntzinger’s days as a student at SRTC consist of drafting and welding.

Prototype for a new wheelchair (Source: WALB)
Prototype for a new wheelchair (Source: WALB)

"It’s led me to be able to create a wheelchair in a day that can change someone’s world forever,” said Huntzinger.

Which his welding instructor, Clifton Taylor, noticed from the beginning.

“His desire to do something special is his greatest asset,” said Taylor.

Huntzinger's invention allows him reconnect with passions he had before becoming paralyzed.

“He’s on his way to doing some really great things," said Taylor.

Clifton Taylor, Welding Instructor at Southern Regional Technical College (Source: WALB)
Clifton Taylor, Welding Instructor at Southern Regional Technical College (Source: WALB)

The first weekend in April, Huntzinger is competing for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s InVenture Prize, where competitors present their unique business solution to a panel of judges.

"I want my life to mean something, and this is me doing it,” said Huntzinger.

Huntzinger believes his wheelchair, that can withstand a more rugged lifestyle, can change the world, regardless of how he places in the competition.

That attitude mirrors a saying by Theodore Roosevelt that Huntzinger lives by:

“It’s better to be the man in the arena with blood on your face, failing, than to be the guy on the sidelines not doing anything.”

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Georgia Inventure Prize Initiative on April 3-4 in Atlanta.

The competition consists of 19 teams chosen by their school.

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