Connect with us


Teen Hero Saves Life, Wins Carnegie Award and Firefighting Scholarship



Quick Smiles:

  • An intrepid teenager from Lantana, Florida was bestowed with the Carnegie Hero Award and a full-ride scholarship for his extraordinary display of valor.
  • 17-year-old Jakob Thompson put his future in firefighting into action, saving a woman dangerously adrift in the potent current of Boynton Beach Inlet.
  • This motivating act was filmed, leading to both local accolades and a national acknowledgment from the Carnegie Hero Fund.

We share the story of Jakob Thompson from sunny Florida. This swift-thinking teenager with a spirit of service notably rescued a woman stranded in the perilous waters of a canal connecting to the Atlantic.

For his courageous rescue, Jakob was the recipient of the esteemed Carnegie Hero Award. In an exciting turn of events, he also secured a full-ride scholarship to chase his dream of becoming a firefighter at the Boynton Fire and Rescue Academy.

In the final month of 2023, Jakob spotted a disturbing sight: a woman was hopelessly floating in the rough waters of Boynton Beach Inlet. Known as one of South Florida’s most hazardous due to its swift current, this inlet was an outright deadly situation. Yet, Jakob, focused and determined, didn’t waver.

Without any concern for his safety, Jakob plunged into the merciless current. After swimming around 80 feet, he managed to secure the worn-out woman around his waist. Using his inner strength, he mustered up enough power to swim back to the safety of the cement wall.

Reporting on the event, the news reported, “The woman, while utterly tired, knew not to struggle, which allowed Thompson to concentrate on his strokes.”

“Upon reaching her, I found her very weak because of her struggles to get out of the water,” Jakob recounted.

In today’s world, it’s common for events like this to be filmed, and this rescue was no exception. Maria Gutierrez, a bystander, captured the incident on video, which quickly spread across news outlets and social media platforms.


The touching video caught the attention of Sarah Perry, a Boynton resident, who lost her son, Aden, in a similar incident. Since her son’s tragic death, Sarah has been managing the Aden Perry Good Samaritan Scholarship Fund, which aims to encourage and support students demonstrating acts of bravery.

Jakob became the first recipient of this scholarship, yet he maintains that he wasn’t seeking any rewards. “The act of risking my life to help someone came with a reward, but I never expected it,” Thompson expressed.

But the recognition didn’t end there. Thompson was further honored by the Carnegie Hero Fund. They awarded him the Carnegie Medal, granted to selfless individuals who risk their lives for others across the United States and Canada.

In 2024 alone, Jakob was one of 17 recipients of this medal. Each medal is engraved with a poignant verse from the New Testament: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13).

To date, the Carnegie Hero Fund has recognized over 10,000 acts of bravery with the Carnegie Medal, unfortunately, about 20% of these have been given posthumously.

Share Jakob Thompson’s inspiring story of bravery, poise, and just rewards on your social media, and let’s spread the positivity!



Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *