CAD Trevan Nguyen Blog

Accommodation helps CAD student overcome adversity

"I had some good people around me ... just a lot of people who could come and help me through that."

Adversity and unexpected hurdles often come with life-changing decisions.

Trevan Nguyen knew this. But the hurdles he overcame are unique even by Francis Tuttle Technology Center standards.

“I had some good people around me, family and friends; just a lot of people who could come and help me through that,” he said.

He is now in his second year of the Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CAD) program, but for a moment, it seemed like he wouldn’t get that far. Shortly after he started the program, Trevan was in a car accident. 

He walked away from the scene, but a spinal injury surfaced over a week later and left him paralyzed. He had to learn how to walk again and regain movement through physical therapy.

“They said I had a hemorrhage in my spine,” Nguyen said. “I had to re-learn how to walk.”

He went through extensive physical therapy, which was very difficult at times. Fortunately, he had a lot of support around him.

Nguyen made his way back into the CAD program. The only remaining evidence of his injury was, unfortunately, in his hands. 

Maneuvering a computer mouse — something CAD professionals must be very skilled at — is difficult for Trevan. So, his instructor Jeremiah Cook set him up with a touchpad. 


CAD Trevan Nguyen touchpad

“I picked it up pretty quickly,” he said. “I learned how to use this, and I think I am just as good as I was with a mouse. It hasn’t slowed me down.”

Trevan hasn’t skipped a beat since returning to the training program, and though using a touchpad is unconventional for the work done in CAD, he has kept the same pace and is now in a position where he is ready to seek a job.

Before enrolling at Francis Tuttle, Nguyen said he worked whatever job he could find. He spent most of his time in food delivery.

“I knew I needed to find something else,” he said. “So I went online to the Francis Tuttle website, I found CAD, and I just went for it.”

He said he already had some interest in computer design, and he has found a niche in CAD. Ultimately, Nguyen said he wants to work as an architectural visualizer and create detailed digital renderings of new homes and buildings.

Through his own perseverance and the accommodations provided to him by Francis Tuttle Technology Center, what could have been a life-altering event is now something Trevan can leave in the past. If anything, he hopes his story helps others realize that they, too, can keep following their dreams, even in difficult circumstances.

by Adam Troxtell - January 11, 2023