In high school, most students will dedicate themselves to one or two major activities outside of the classroom. For Brent Becerra, not only would he be active in two extremely different extracurriculars, he would do it while struggling with a serious injury that resulted from a childhood accident — 4 missing fingers in his left hand.
Years later, Brent sees the incident as just that, a childhood mistake that he must learn to live with. “My dad was cutting the grass…and I just stuck my hand in the lawnmower”, said Brent. While Brent and his family learned to live with the effects of the accident, it took some time for the initial shock to fade away.
“I never saw his fingers until six months later after they took the cast off”, explained Niurka Becerra, Brent’s mother. Extensive damage to Brent’s left hand required a hard cast to be put on for months, leaving Brent and his parents without any idea of what the healed wounds would look like.
At first, Brent expected there to be limitations to what he would be able to do with his hand, but never allowed that to stop him from achieving his goals. A mutual friend introduced Brent to Ben Bagby, a piano and vocal instructor. Bagby explained that Brent needed someone who could guide him on his path to becoming a talented musician: “He wanted to connect with someone who helps cultivate talent, so he started studying voice with me, then, after a couple of years, he started studying piano with me.”
After becoming proficient at playing piano despite his condition, Brent set his sights on a new goal: joining the Columbus wrestling team. In a sport that relies on fast hand reactions and gaining a crucial grip on an opponent, Brent had some major challenges ahead. “You’ve got to be a pretty tough kid, to come out here with an obvious disadvantage, but he makes up for it by being so aggressive…we love having him on the team.” said James Husk, Columbus wrestling coach.
Despite his injury, Brent continues to prove that the only factor in being successful at something is determination and perseverance, and that nothing can stop someone from reaching their goals if they work hard to overcome their disadvantages.