HS robotics team gives little girl gift of mobility

PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. — A little girl from Pickens County has been given the ability to play thanks to a high school robotics team!

Kristi and Mike Hales told Channel 2's Berndt Petersen that their little daughter brings joy to everyone she meets.

"She is the happiest kid around. She brings smiles to everyone. Her community loves her. Her teachers love her. She's precious,” Kristi Hales said.

Kessley, 6, was born with cerebral palsy. She is often in a wheelchair and playtime can be a bit lonely.

"It's hard. You want to see her up and running and playing with her friends. But she doesn't,” her mother said.

The Electric Eagles of Cherokee County aimed to change that.


Etowah High School’s robotics team went to work on a contraption called a “Power Wheels Wild Thing.”

It’s a two-handed, all-terrain vehicle for children.

They modified it for Kessley, who makes the best use of her left hand.

"In two and a half weeks we finished it. It was a piece of cake,” team member Andrew Cua said.

"What we really did was give a little girl the ability to play,” team member Gwendolyn Peppers said.

Kessley can now go off road -- places her wheelchair could never take her.

"They've given her a gift that as parents we could not give her,” Mike Hales said.

"I don't know that her dad and I have ever been able to just sit and watch our kids play together. That was pretty special,” Kristi Hales said.

Kessley had hip surgery last Monday and is still hurting.

She won’t be able to drive the ATV for at least 12 weeks, but she loves it.

The robotics team isn’t through with it, either.

Next, they’re installing Bluetooth technology.