In April of 2018, Julian was traveling with his family in their minivan through a Los Angeles intersection when a suspected drunk driver ran a red light and plowed into their vehicle, which was dragged 25 feet before catching fire. Bystanders frantically worked to pull Julian and his mother from the fiery wreckage, but they could not save Julian’s father, Juan, 34, sister Emma, 6, and brother Sebastian, 5 months.
While Julian survived the horrific accident, much of his body was burned, and he lost all or parts of nine fingers.
Last fall, Kissinger, a mechanical engineering student at Cal Poly, became aware of the boy’s needs through the Quality of Life Plus (QL+) club on campus, which pairs people who have physical challenges with students, who then work to improve the quality of life for the “challenger.” After accepting Julian’s challenge, Kissinger assembled a team of eight students, from the mechanical, biomedical and electrical engineering programs.
Austin Conrad, another mechanical engineering student who is co-lead with Kissinger, was one of 70 who applied, knowing the project would be a demanding challenge, particularly since the accident had occurred just a few months earlier.
Because of their work with Julian, the team was highlighted in the LA Times. Read the full article HERE.