MARQUETTE — Marquette Area Senior High School is now home to state-of-the art 3D Printers. And at Monday night’s†School Board Meeting, the teachers behind the project dedicated one of them to an alumni who suffered a tragedy that left him in a wheel chair, but has persevered to become an engineer and an inventor.
Eighteen year ago, a diving accident left Joe Olson paralyzed from the neck down, two weeks before graduation.†Olson overcame the odds and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters degree in Rehabilitation Science and Technology.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, Olson also created a 3D printer customized handgrip that allows individuals to have proper control of their wheelchairs without hand cramps. Though Olson wasn’t able to make the ceremony, his parents and past teachers were in attendance to talk about the inspiration he has become.
“I think that a lot of people don’t realize how tough it can be. Some people crumble, and like I told him, a lot of people would look at the world from the bottom of a bottle in your situation,” said Joe’s father, Jon Olson. “Or you can try and push it as far as it can go. And he’s been pushing.”
“His point is that within our life, everyone will suffer a disability at some point and if we all got on board with helping people, it would be a wonderful thing,” said Retired Marquette Senior High Teacher, Elsa Clement.
Olson is now a Mechanical Engineer in Baltimore, Maryland and continues inventing in his free time