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This Inspiring Alberta Teenager Worked Really Hard To Be Able To Drive Himself To School

Dream: achieved.

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This is Aaron Friesen, a 16-year-old in rural Alberta who just started Grade 12.

Alberta Motor Association / Via

He lives in Ranfurly and goes to school in nearby Innisfree, an hour-and-a-half east of Edmonton.

Aaron has cerebral palsy, and he has been in a wheelchair for his whole life.

Alberta Motor Association / Via

He has wanted to drive since he was a young kid, but getting behind the wheel wasn't easy. Aaron needed a special van that would accommodate his disability.

He entered an online contest that had a wheelchair-accessible van as the prize, but failed to get enough votes. Undeterred, he and his community set about fundraising so Aaron would have his van in time for the start of his final year of high school.

After a year of fundraising, Aaron finally had the $50,000 he needed and got his new ride.

Alberta Motor Association / Via

"When I first picked it up it was unreal, to finally have it there," he told the Alberta Motor Association, who made a video about Aaron's journey. "It's a cool colour, too."

And he scrambled to get his driver's ed done in time.

Finally done with drivers training! Hoping to go for my drivers exam soon...this journey is almost to an end!!


Aaron drove himself to school for the first time on Tuesday.

Off to see the amazing @localminivanman make his dream come true driving his wheelchair accessible van to class #CBC

And waiting for him were dozens of his classmates cheering him on.

Global News / Via

"I always said I wanted to drive to my first day of Grade 12," he told CBC News. "It's cool that I actually did it. I'll be able to drive where I want to now. It'll just change everything."

Watch Aaron's full story below:

View this video on YouTube

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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