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Teens Build Special Video Camera for 13-Year-Old Born Without Arms

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Haley Horn is passionate about visual media and writing, and the 13-year-old Georgia native has her sights set on someday working in the entertainment industry.

When she started summer camp at The Green Room in Atlanta this July she was beyond thrilled to collaborate with other kids and produce a music video, but there was one obstacle to overcome. Hayley was born without arms, so holding a camera was going to be a bit of a challenge. But the people at re:imagine/ATL, the nonprofit behind the camp, found a way to make Haley’s dream become a reality.

Re:imagine/ATL founder Susanna Spiccia reached out to STE(A)M Truck, a mobile lab where art and technology professionals work with kids to design electronics and digital art. Spiccia asked if the organization could help create a camera for Horn, but she wanted to make sure the teens at STE(A)M truck were heavily involved in the design process. Not only was STE(A)M truck eager to accept the offer, but they quickly handed off the task to several youngsters at the Harland Boys & Girls Club in Atlanta. The team had access to a 3D printer, laser cutters and soldering stations, and after a few attempts they finally came up with the perfect solution for Haley.

The device they created rests on Haley’s right shoulder, and she uses her feet to control the attached Sony video camera. From the extra padding to the flashy paint job, it was perfect for the aspiring videographer’s needs.

Janiyah Favors, 13, who worked with STE(A)M Truck on the project told CNN, “It felt great. It felt nice to help Haley with her dream.” After Favors and her partner Kris Pilcher presented the shouldercam to Haley, the teen spent the whole week shooting footage for the camp’s final project. A number of her scenes are featured in the video, and she plans to continue pursuing her passion for filmmaking. Haley’s mom told CNN Haley wants to make a video about their new home, and that’s only the beginning.

“Just watch,” an excited Haley says in the CNN video above. “Watch me.”

Originally published: August 24, 2015
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