U of M-Flint students rewire toy cars to help children with disabilities

FLINT (WJRT) (12/7/2019) - Students at the University of Michigan-Flint are giving back by donating special toy cars to small children who lack motor development skills.

"These cars really help them work with their peers, communicate their needs and build social and cognitive development milestones," said Kei Cze Prentis, who is one of the students behind the project.

The group of physical therapy students partnered with an organization called GOBABYGO. It's a program that provides modified, ride-on cars to young children with disabilities.

The students raised money to buy the cars. The engineering department rewired them to fit the needs of the children who were selected.

"They were so appreciative, you could see with the kids reaction how meaningful it was for them," Prentis said.

The students gave away three cars. Two-year-old Gracie received one. She has cerebral palsy and can't move around like her brother Gregory.

"Inside is not as bad because she is walking on her knees, but outside she can't really get around. It's mud, there's snow, so hopefully she can get around a little bit more in a car," said her mother, Cassandra Bouchard.

The students say they plan to expand on this project in the near future.

"Our goal is to have it be campus-wide and make a website where you can donate at all times," Lauren Hilgendorf said.

Bouchard said she is looking forward to watch her child's future interactions.

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