Help me raise money for future scholarship recipients.

Austin Somerville

“As a recipient of the Swim With Mike Scholarship, I am not only grateful for the financial benefit it has given me, but also the supportive community I have been welcomed into. As I begin my college journey, I am honored to carry the Swim With Mike torch by showing how people with disabilities can still strive after and achieve their goals.”

In May 2020, Austin was attending a friend’s pool party.  The pool was filled with dish soap in the swimming pool and hot tub, creating a layer of bubbles above the surface of the water. Due to the layer of bubbles, Austin was unable to see the depth of the water and hit his head at the bottom of the pool, breaking the C-5, C-6, and C-7 vertebrae in his neck which resulted in a spinal cord injury. He was immediately paralyzed from his high chest and throughout his body. A friend noticed that something was wrong and saved Austin from drowning.

After a lengthy recovery and diligent physical therapy, he was able to regain some mobility and function throughout his body.

Austin loves adaptive kayaking, watching college football, studying the Bible, and participating in Bible studies, building LEGOs, playing video games, watching documentaries, traveling, working out, and learning about the human body, space, science, and astronomy.

Austin is a peer mentor for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation/Shepard Center Peer Mentor Program and participates in multiple community and church volunteer programs. He graduated in May 2023 and received the LIFE Scholarship for S.C. and graduated with honors. Austin is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Clemson University.