Josue Arana is a Senior at George Mason University, graduating in May 2020.  He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering.  Josue and his teammates are working on the Backpack Chair Challenge.  The project consists of designing and developing a backpack with a stool of bar height, armrest, and comfortable seating. The backpack chair is for our Challenger, a Navy, and Army veteran, who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy Type IID, and has trouble walking and standing for long periods of time.

Why did you choose your major?  Having an affinity for math and problem solving, I knew engineering was the way to go.  The ironic thing was that math and science go together but I personally preferred math and history. The history of how things evolved over time and how they were created.  All these factors contributed to choosing mechanical engineering late in my middle school years.  The impact that engineers have is phenomenal and I wanted to be a part of that innovative and transformative career.

Describe your experience working with QL+:  Working with QL+ is beyond anything that I would have ever imagined having the opportunity to do.  Knowing that my work can have a direct impact on someone’s life is a truly gratifying experience.  The biggest challenge with this project is that we are creating something has never been seen before. Creating a backpack chair has really challenged both my engineering and leadership skills. 
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Working with our Challenger, Mr. Lee has been an awesome experience. The times that we have met, I’ve learned more about him personally like his passion for games and cars.  As a former Navy and Army veteran, he is someone that our team admires.  His selflessness for serving our country is very compelling and motivates us to do our best.

What would you say to other students about QL+?  I would say that working with QL+ is one of the best parts of your college journey.  Seeing countless lives changed, and as a student being able to take part in that transformation is amazing.  Being given the opportunity to improve someone's quality of life is a game-changer.
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What are your plans after graduation?  After graduation, I plan to start on a job that has a direct impact on people and society whether through product design or infrastructure development.  The greatest asset of being an engineer is that if a problem arises, we will find a solution.

What has been the proudest moment of your college career?  The proudest moment in my college career thus far is being able to help others with what I have learned and be of a role model to those seeking more. Being the first one in my family to graduate from college it is a blessing that I don’t take for granted.  Thus, giving back to those who might be in the same position if very fulfilling.

What three words best describe you?  Passionate, Joyful, Consistent

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