Kevin Hillery, a 22-year-old man who was paralyzed last year after a tree fell on him, made history yesterday when he became the first-ever paraplegic to graduate from the United States Naval Academy. Way to go, Kevin!

In April of last year, Hillery was mountain biking through the Shenandoah Valley with three fellow midshipmen when a storm rolled in and a tree fell on top of him, breaking his back and paralyzing him from the waist down.

But Hillery didn’t let his disability stop him. With permission from the Navy, Hillery continued school and ultimately graduated with a degree in economics. “I think it reflects well on the Naval Academy and the navy that they would stand by one of their own,” he said.

Although Hillery had to abandon his dream of becoming a Navy Seal, he now hopes to attend law school. “There is a bright future ahead for this young man,” said his father, Frank.