A Queensborough Community College student is overcoming obstacles and now competing to win a grant to run his own business. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
Kelvin Henry is making a statement with his innovative clothing line 'Kmatikz'
The Queensborough Community College student is designing apparel for people with disabilities.
"It's hard to find clothes that make it easy for you to get dressed. If you do find something that's easy to get dressed, it's kind of like...nursing home clothing. And you don't really want to wear that," said Henry.
Henry is speaking from experience. Twelve years ago, Henry was shot in the back as an innocent bystander.
Now, he relies on a wheelchair to get around.
"I'm glad to be here doing this. It's definitely going to change my life and other people's lives," said Henry.
Henry does all of the sketches and designs for his clothing line.
He also sews the prototypes on an industrial machine he bought with a $500 seed grant, which helps fund new businesses.
However, because Henry can't use the foot pedal on the sewing machine, he created a new part for it which he printed at QCC's 3D printing lab.
Now the mechanical engineering student hopes to patent the piece.
"I have a lot of different ideas that I'm going to bring to life,” said Henry.
Now, he’s competing to win a $25,000 grant to bring his start-up business to life.
It's part of the CUNY and Capital One Community College Innovation Challenge Finals, a two-semester program where students prepare their business ideas.
"I think it's amazing. And I think it really speaks to the importance of teaching entrepreneurship in the community colleges," said Christine Mooney, an associate professor of Business at Queensborough Community College.
Henry also hopes his story can teach others something.
"If you fall down, just get back up. Even if you don't physically get back up but you can still enjoy your life, you can still live your life to the fullest,” said Henry.