Martrell Stevens Graduates As Valedictorian 9 Years After Being Paralyzed By Stray Bullet


June 20, 2017

Photo credit: CBS Chicago 

In 2008, then four-year-old Martrell Stevens was struck by a stray bullet in Chicago. He was left paralyzed from the waist down and had to relearn how to do things such as tying his shoe. Over the years, Martrell has endured rehabilitation and learned to never allow his injuries to determine what he can or cannot do. Case in point, when Martrell’s injuries prevented him from participating in school sports, like basketball, he decided to join a wheelchair league. 

“You could always do what you put your mind to,” the 13-year-old said. “If someone tells you you can’t do that, do it anyway, because you will never know if don’t try.”


It looks like Martrell applied the same philosophy to his studies, as he graduated as valedictorian of his 8th grade class on Tuesday. 

The next stop for Martrell is a private boarding school in Boston, where he received a full scholarship for high school. 


Congratulations, Martrell! Your resilient spirit, can-do attitude, and academic excellence is an inspiration to us all. 

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