Human Interest High School Students Create Robotic Hand for Their New Classmate: 'They Changed My Life' Thanks to his new classmates, 15-year-old Sergio Peralta at Hendersonville High School near Nashville was able to catch a baseball in his right hand for the first time By Marisa Sullivan Marisa Sullivan Instagram Twitter Digital News Writer People Editorial Guidelines Published on January 27, 2023 11:45 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Sumner County Schools / Kelly Flood Like many students, Sergio Peralta began his school year nervous about fitting in. The 15-year-old, a new kid at Hendersonville High School outside of Nashville, Tenn., was particularly concerned with what his peers would think of his right hand, which had never fully formed. Speaking to CBS News, Peralta said on his first day of school, he "honestly felt like hiding" his hand in his sleeve, "like nobody would ever find out." But his classmates, to his surprise, supported him in a way he never expected. "They changed my life," Peralta said while telling his inspiring story. The teen recounted how the school's engineering teacher, Jeff Wilkins, came and told him that his fellow students might be able to help. "They ended up offering me, like, 'We could build your prosthetic hand,' and I never expected it," he told CBS News, "Like, never in a million years." Girl with 3D-Printed Hand Set to Achieve Her Dream of Beating the Throw First Pitch Record Sumner County Schools / Kelly Flood Three students used their access to online models of prostheses and a 3D printer to make a plan. After four weeks, their project came to fruition. Chess-Playing Robot Breaks 7-Year-Old Boy's Finger in Russian Tournament: 'This, of Course, Is Bad' One of those Henderson students, Leslie Jaramillo, told local CBS affiliate WVTF that the project captured the spirit of what they were taught as creators, as noted by The Guardian. "You're supposed to be engineering, coming up with new ideas, solving issues," Jaramillo said. "Just making things better than how they used to be." RELATED VIDEO: Former Soldier Who Lost Both Legs Becomes First Above-the-Knee Double Amputee to Climb Matterhorn Bob Cotter, the high school's principal, told BBC that his students are encouraged to turn concepts "into reality," telling the outlet that Peralta's new prosthesis is "a testament to the students who care about each other and the program that Jeff Wilkins has built." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Peralta — who grew up learning to do everything with his left hand, including writing — was even able to catch a baseball with the prosthetic hand created by Hendersonville High's students. "When I caught it for the first time, everyone started freaking out," Peralta said with a smile. "It was the first time I caught a ball with my right hand in [my] 15 years."