WAYNE COUNTY, N.Y (WROC) — At the start of his senior year, Austin Sierra of the Gananda Central School District was hospitalized after his motorcycle collided with a truck while he was out riding. But after months of being confined to a wheelchair and rehab, he managed to walk at his graduation.  

He may have been knocked down in a serious motorcycle crash but that didn’t stop Austin Sierra from getting back up and working hard to the point where he was able to walk across the stage to close out his high school days together with his classmates.  

There was a time when doctors thought he would never walk again. But Austin refused to give in and made sure he’d receive his diploma standing on his own two feet.  

“I was never supposed to walk again or even be here today,” Sierra said. “I was starting to tear up because it was finally amazing I was able to walk the stage like I said I would back in September.” 

Since returning to school in November, Austin gives credit to his entire family, class, and teachers for always believing in him. Making this journey possible with their support in the classroom and through rehab.  

“My friends and family were there by me and wouldn’t let me give up,” Sierra continued. “And I just kept moving to where I am today.” 

For Austin’s classmates looking on, graduation was more special knowing they could all go through it together.  

“That meant a lot to everyone involved because he went through a very hard struggle,” Danielle Hurdle told us. “It was great to see him walking and being up again because we didn’t think he was going to be here today.”  

“So incredible after everything that happened he was able to walk today,” Maya Vogt added. “I started crying actually and it just brought a lot of joy to the community.”  

After walking to get his high school diploma achieved, Austin plans to attend SUNY Geneseo this fall to get certification in cross country trucking.

The trucking program Austin plans to study at Geneseo will take about two years to complete. In mid-July, he has to go through another surgery to get work done on his prosthetic leg but is looking forward to what the future holds.

The Class of 2022 at Gananda had 52 seniors in total graduate this year. We also send a big congratulations to Austin’s classmates.