Rashard Little was president of his senior class, a drum major and leader of the ROTC at Twiggs County High School.
But that all changed two months ago when Little was involved in a serious accident that left him with a broken collar bone, fractured ribs and brain damage that made it difficult for him to communicate.
His mother, Nichole Brooks, said she initially thought her son was deceased.
"We went down to the scene and actually when we got there we thought he was dead. The EMT guy said that he thought it was a fatality," Brooks said.
Rashard spent a week in ICU and three weeks in the Medical Center of Central Georgia. He came home Oct. 18.
His medical bills quickly began to pile up, with routine procedures costing upwards of $3,000 each.
So Rashard's band director, fellow students, and the Twiggs community stepped in to offer financial assistance.
"I couldn't believe that a student I was so close to was involved in such a tragic accident, said Ernest Stackhouse, director of bands at Twiggs County High.
Rashard is beginning to speak again and said he is thankful for his community's support, when it comes to Stackhouse.
"It feels good," Rashard said. "I feel honored because he was at the top and now he looks at me as a role model."