MATC student graduating after motorcycle accident took his legs

Student didn't let his prosthetic legs slow him do
Posted at 6:49 PM, May 10, 2017

In just a couple of days hundreds of students will graduate from Milwaukee Area Technical College, but out of all those degrees we're highlighting the strength of one student who managed to persevere through some tough circumstances.

It's safe to say Julio Rivera is one of the hardest working students here at the MATC’s machine operations program. A motorcycle accident left him with prosthetic legs, but that didn't let him fall behind.

"You have to want it," he said.

It’s been a long road after his near death experience almost 9 years ago. On May 16, 2008 Rivera was involved in a bad motorcycle accident that nearly cost him his life.

"I woke up in the hospital with no legs, it wasn't a lack of experience, it was just being reckless," he said.

And after some time he decided to go back to school. After going through eight pairs of prosthetic legs he decided to enroll into school in hopes of one day creating his own pair of legs to help others who are just like him.

"That's my goal, that's my goal, affordable, comfortable," he said.

An objective he's one step closer to achieving.

"Don't be afraid, that's the main thing," said Rivera.

Rivera is also one of a handful of students that will get to meet commencement speaker Dr. Jill Biden on Friday. He’s also planning to pursue a programming degree in the near future.

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