CALDWELL - Teagan Sears has overcome a lot in his life. When he was 15 months old, he survived a near-drowning after falling into a swimming pool. The accident caused a permanent impairment to his motor function. But now, as an adult, Teagan says he has a lot to give back.
"People seem to be drawn to him. Maybe it's his laugh, maybe it's his sense of humor," said Teagan's mom, Warna Sears.
What started out as a tragedy has turned into something amazing. The Sears dedicated themselves to their toddler's recovery, as he battled the effects of cerebral palsy.
"You would not believe the therapy... hours everyday," said Warna. "It was grueling and we did that for years."
Stan and Warna never gave up, and they watched their son thrive.
"He's had a really big cheering section for a long time," said Warna.
Years later, Teagan is all grown up. He graduated from Vallivue High School with honors, and for the past 10 years, has volunteered at Sacajawea Elementary School.
Everyday, he drives his wheelchair over to the school and works with the kindergartners, who affectionately call him "Mr. T."
"He has devoted his life to this school," said teacher Susan Rehman. "I think he's teaching them important things about physical differences."
Teagan Sears brings inspiring message to kids, the internet
Teagan is an inspiration at Sacajawea, but these days he's also working on another big project. He's making inspirational videos. His goal? To become a YouTube sensation.
"There just so much darkness on the internet and why would you spread darkness when you can spread light," said Richard Brenton, Teagan's camera man.
His message is one of hope and joy.
"My purpose is to encourage you," Teagan explains in one video. "We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do."
His parents are so proud.
"He understands that there is an opportunity, there's something he can do," said Stan.