Austin Whitney grew up and attended high school in San Juan Capistrano, located in Orange County in Southern California. There, he was involved in student government, played sports, directed and acted in plays, and graduated in 2007 with a 4.0 GPA. One month after that, on July 21, 2007 he struck a tree after driving home after drinking at a party. He instantly severed his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist down. Suffering many injuries he is lucky to be alive and additionally lucky that neither of his passagers sustained a disabling injury when they could have easily been killed. After a painful and insightful recovery, Austin started attending college classes 10 days after being released from the hospital. He quit drinking after the accident and dedicated his life to spreading the lessons he learned about drunk driving and the importance of attitude to high schoolers. He started in California and has since spoken throughout the US and Canada. Loosing no time to the crash he was able to graduate from UC Berkeley with a Political Science/History double major in May 2011. His graduation made news across the globe as Austin stood up from his wheelchair onstage and walked to the Chancellor of the University to accept his diploma with the help of a mechanical exoskeleton developed in UC Berkeley's Human Engineering Laboratory under Professor Homayoon Kazerooni. Since graduation, he has continued working in this lab developing ways for paraplegics to walk again and is currently attending UC Berkeley School of Law, where he plans on graduating in 2015. He works in the music industry, attending many festivals where he provides ADA Compliance assistance. He got re-certified to scuba dive and started skydiving within the first six months of his accident and actively does both today. He enjoys working with his two favorite charitable organizations, the Swim With Mike Foundation and the Wheelchair Foundation.