Home Music therapy A high school student rewires toy cars so that every child has the right to mobility

A high school student rewires toy cars so that every child has the right to mobility

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To encounter Daily Light Point Price laureate Aanand Mehta. Read his story and designate an exceptional volunteer or family as a Daily Point of Light.

Aanand Mehta was a music fan from a young age. He has been playing the cello for six years and singing Indian classical music for almost 12 years. In high school, her love for music met volunteering, and now junior high is changing the lives of children with developmental disabilities.

Aanand was first introduced to rehabilitation therapy for children with developmental disabilities at school Arizona Neurological Music Therapy Services in 2019. Over time, his inspiration turned into an idea to start his own organization. Two years later, he co-founded magic engines with his cousin who was building toy cars for handicapped children during an Eagle Scout project.

Together, the team rewires toy cars so they can be driven by children aged three to eight. They make it easier to navigate with hand controls instead of pedals, and even install harnesses, remotes and back support – anything and everything to make a kid’s car accessible and fun.

In addition to refurbishing toy cars, Aanand’s Magical Motors is on a mission to expand its program to high schools across the country in an effort to support volunteerism and STEM education. Aanand has developed a program and materials to help anyone become a successful automaker.

Aanand had one goal in mind when he co-founded Magical Motors: to create an inclusive community where every child has the right to mobility. He asked himself two questions after researching technologies to overcome barriers to mobility. First, what if he couldn’t move on his own? And second, how would his life be affected?

One of the first steps in toy car remodeling for Aanand Mehta is Magical Motors’ big red button – when kids press the button, it acts like a pedal accelerator. / Courtesy Aanand Mehta

“These questions really pushed me to bring movement to children and I decided that I would do whatever it took to make it possible,” Aanand said.

“We started finding like-minded people who are also creating assistive technology, so a big part of our process is collaboration,” Aanand said. “Connecting with STEM organizations only helps our mission to extend mobility to all children.”

One of the first steps in renovating toy cars for kids is Magical Motors’ big red button. When kids press the button, it acts like a pedal accelerator. The car is then much easier to start and stop for children who cannot use their legs.

One of Aanand’s favorite memories with Magical Motors was in December 2021 when he met the organization’s first car recipient, 4-year-old Ollie, whose lower spine was not fully developed. Aanand helped build a red McLaren car for Ollie’s Christmas. Ollie told Aanand it was the best Christmas present ever.

“It’s rewarding moments like these that really make the experience worth it,” Aanand said. “His mom told me he couldn’t stop driving the car.”

“Magical Motors gave my son the freedom to play like a kid,” said Demi Porter, Ollie’s mother. “Being able to play without restrictions is one of the greatest gifts we have ever received and my son’s face lights up when he drives his car. I can really see how happy he is.

As Aanand enters his freshman year in high school, he remains passionate about pursuing this service throughout college. He plans to take Magical Motors to other high schools across the country and aims to raise $25,000 to build 100 cars over the next two years. Outside of Magical Motors, Aanand wants to get into the health field to become a doctor.

Aanand knows that operating and maintaining a nonprofit can be hard work, but he believes he has established himself as a responsible and organized leader. He learned that the service is invaluable for building connections and breaking out of his shell.

Aanand Mehta co-founded Magical Motors to create an inclusive community where every child has the right to mobility by rewiring toy cars./Courtesy of Aanand Mehta

In August, Aanand is hosting a build event for Magical Motors with the Si Se Puede Foundation where cars will be donated to children in need. He plays to hold additional build events in September and October. Aanand says anyone can help build, even people with no engineering experience, as long as they follow safety precautions and take building instructions seriously. He continues to encourage other students to start a Magical Motors club at their school.

Aanand also organized a TEDx talk later in July to talk about Magical Motors and how volunteering makes a difference in people’s lives.

“It’s important for others to contribute their talents to make a tangible difference in people’s lives and shape a more equitable and inclusive community,” Aanand said.

“Participating in a greater cause will allow someone to make a more amplified difference in their community and if they continue to foster volunteerism, they will be able to merge their interests with service, which is the best,” he said. -he adds.

Do you want to make a difference in your community like Aanand? Find local volunteer opportunities.

This post was written by Madi Donham. Points of Light collaborates with the voices of diverse writers to help tell inspiring stories of leadership, volunteerism and civic engagement. We recognize that there are many ways to engage civically, as outlined in Points of Light’s civic circleand we are grateful to our writers for helping us illustrate the impact of how everyday actions can change the world.