MIAMI -

A teenager who was shot nearly a year ago is back on his feet.

Aaron Willis now uses leg braces and a walker to get around.

"I'm walking and I'm standing up, so it feels good," he said.

Twice a week for an hour each visit, Willis and his physical therapist, Jill Caldwell, work through the challenges of using his hands to guide his feet.

"He went from not being able to transfer himself to being able to get himself in and out of the wheelchair, onto the floor, to swim, and now he progressed to walking, so he's come a long way," she said.

On Dec. 19, 2012, Willis was shot while riding his bicycle in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood. The bullet severed his spine.

Police say Willis wasn't the target.

"I couldn't get up," he said. "I couldn't sit at a 90-degree angle or nothing. I just had to lay down al day."

Willis's father, Sam, relies on a wheelchair to get around.

"There were tears of joy to see my boy walking again, something I never expected to see," he said.

Willis has returned to school. The former track and football player said he's grateful to be alive and eager to have a normal life.

"I really don't have time to be negative because I have a lot of friends, so anytime I feel down, they're always there," he added.