In his freshman year, Kelly, a mechanical engineering
major, was one of the founders of the student-run, all-volunteer campus chapter of eNABLE, an international organization that makes low-cost, 3-D printed prosthetics for children free of charge. The following year, the group won the top prize (and $6,000) in the annual DifferenceMaker
Idea Challenge. Since then, Kelly and his teammates have designed, made and fitted several children with prosthetics.
Now, eNABLE Lowell is focusing on developing prosthetic sports devices for kids, such as a wiffle bat with a small plastic cage attached to help batters with hand disabilities grasp the bat.
‘We pretty much see our mission as figuring out what kids want to do, and we try to find a way to help them do it,” says Kelly.
Lowell eNABLE used the $6,000 DifferenceMaker money, plus $10,000 that the students raised from a pair of comedy nights, to purchase 3-D printers and tools. With those resources in place, Kelly is confident the work will continue.
“You build something and you don’t want it to fall apart. My biggest fear in the past was that we wouldn’t be able to create good leadership for the future. But we have a great group coming in,” he says.
After graduation, Kelly is heading to a full-time job with Liberating Tech in Holliston, where he has interned for two years. He will be designing, testing and making prototypes of prosthetics.