Sometimes everyday heroes come in small packages, but have an impact that’s larger than life.
Find out how these brave children and teens saved other’s lives, thwarted kidnappings, survived in the wilderness, fought off predators, and tackled higher education.
7-Year-Old Boy Flings Himself Off A Cliff To Save Baby Brother’s Life
A 3-year-old Oklahoma child was saved from a 100-foot cliff fall in part due to his 7-year-old brother’s bravery.
On February 25, the two boys were hiking a trail in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur with their grandmother, sister, and dog.
As they were descending from the summit of Bromide Hill, their dog traversed close to the edge of the rock face.
When three-year-old Riley Duke tried to grab the family pet, he went over the cliff and plunged down into an icy stream below.
Dakota Becomes An Everyday Hero
According to The Oklahoman, his big brother Dakota didn’t hesitate to take off after him, and slid down what was essentially a 100 foot vertical fall without fear for his own life.
Dakota was miraculously able to scramble down the cliffside to aid his injured little brother, and had the wherewithal to hold the boy’s head out of the water as they waited for help in the chilly water.
“[Dakota] just didn’t have quite enough strength to get him all the way up, but he got his head out from underneath the water,” the boys’ mother, Amy Branom detailed.
Branom said that the boys’ grandmother called emergency services as she made her way down the mountain.
She also noted that her mother was unaware of how treacherous the trail actually was, as there were no signs or guardrails.
First Responders Come To Their Rescue
Once they were dispatched at 5:34 p.m., park rangers reached the boys miraculously quickly.
They were able get both brothers out of the creek with the help of the Sulphur Fire Department and Murray County EMS.
Dakota and Riley were treated on scene, and swiftly rushed off to two separate local hospitals within a span of sixteen minutes.
They were later transferred to the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital, which has a Level 1 pediatric trauma center, to treat their severe injuries from the fall.
Riley suffered a several broken ribs, a fractured wrist, facial lacerations, a broken forehead and brain damage.
He is currently stable in the ICU, but remains on a ventilator, feeding tube, and catheter.
The Boys Survive The Fall
Thankfully, he is conscious and able to reply to yes and no questions by nodding or shaking his head, but is unable to open his eyes due to the extreme swelling.
Dakota was treated for lacerations on his forehead, back of the head and a deeply skinned knee, but was released from the hospital two days later.
According to his mother, is unsure if his actions were brave, or rash. Luckily, she has reassured him that he is indeed an everyday hero.
“I’ve tried to tell him over and over again, that you 100% have done the correct thing,” Branom told The Oklahoman.
“You saved your baby brother,” she assured her son. “We’ll never be able to really thank him enough for what he did, honestly.”
Teenage Athlete Saves Elderly Man And Dog From Submerged Vehicle
A 17-year-old high school triple-threat athlete saved an an 83-year-old man and his dog from a Jeep that had plunged into the frigid water of a lake in Iowa.
Joe Salmon, a high school athlete, was ice fishing with his mother at East Okoboji Lake, when he witnessed a grey Jeep Wrangler drive onto thin ice and submerge.
The driver, 83-year-old Thomas Lee, was heading to his son-in-law’s fishing shack, but made the mistake of driving across the lake under the bridge, as ice formation under structures tends to be thinner due to heat absorption.
Salmon was watching a snowmobile race when the Jeep broke through the ice, and rushed over while he was on the phone with 911 and calling for others nearby to aid him.
Joe Comes To Lee’s Rescue
The teen football player, wrestler, and track star stripped off his fishing gear and signaled for Lee to get out of the Jeep, but he was unable to get out of the locked doors and closed windows.
“I took one step and (the water) went to about my chest,” he said to the Des Moines Register.
“I got on the bumper of the rear and tried opening the back door, but all the windows were locked, but one guy gave me a knife and I hit the back glass a couple of times.”
He climbed up on the car’s back bumper and managed to break into the back window with the utility knife provided by one of the four other men that stood at the ice’s edge to help Lee.
Joe Gets Into The Jeep
Salmon shimmied in through the back window and emerged with Lee’s golden doodle, Cooper. He tossed the dog towards the waiting men, who pulled the pup to safety after he briefly hit the water.
“I didn’t really think about why or anything,” Salmon told The Washington Post.
“I wanted to make sure he was going to be okay — to get him out. A full-size car going there, I knew it wasn’t going to end well.”
Salmon entered the Jeep again and climbed up to the front seat, where he had to free Lee’s foot from between a seat and the center console.
As the water level rose swiftly and Lee became stuck again, the quick thinking teenager folded down the seats and dragged him to the back, where another man was waiting in the water to pull him out.
Lee Is Saved By Bystanders
Lee was yanked out of the water by the bystanders, while Salmon climbed to the top of the car to leapt back to safety himself.
After Lee was out of the water, he and the other men were guided to a nearby store, where they were able to dry off and get warm.
Lee was transported to a local hospital, but neither he or Cooper sustained any injuries from the incident. The same can not be said for the Jeep, which was pulled out of the lake the next day.
“I’m happy that he was OK and the dog was OK,” Salmon said about the ordeal. “It was j
Boy Saves Sister From Abduction With Sniper-Like Slingshot Precision
A Michigan boy prevented an abductor from kidnapping his sister with a surprising weapon.
A 14-year-old boy was able to fend of an attacker with a slingshot, when he tried to abduct his 8-year-old sister on Wednesday.
The girl was playing outside in her family’s backyard in rural Alpena, Michigan, when a 17-year-old came out of the woods and grabbed her.
The unnamed suspect covered her mouth and tried to drag her out of the yard, when his attempt was thwarted by her older brother.
Big Brother Fends Off The Kidnapper
The brave tween heard the commotion and used a slingshot to get the teenager to let his little sister go.
He only fired two shots before the girl was able to break free and run away.
“He really is the one that that I believe saved his sisters either life, or something seriously bad happening to her,” a Michigan State Police spokesperson told NBC News.
“For a 14-year-old to see that and to pop into action that quickly, he should be commended for it.”
The alleged attacker escaped, but was later arrested by Michigan State Police in the gas station, based on a description by another family member.
When he was arrested, police said the suspect had visible wounds to the head and chest from the two projectiles the boy flung with Dennis the Menace-like precision.
The Suspect Is Identified By Slingshot Wounds
Police said that not only did the young teenager become an everyday hero by protecting his sister, he helped them verify that they had the right person in custody.
“What he did also helped us to identify who the suspect was because obviously he had injuries from getting hit with a slingshot, and obviously those [wounds] were able to help us out evidentiary-wise.”
The 17-year-old was charged as an adult on three felony counts that included attempted kidnapping, attempted assault to do great bodily harm less than murder, and assault and battery.
“You wouldn’t think in this world that if you were playing in your own backyard … that you would be concerned about something like this,” the Police spokesman said.
“But it just goes to show that there is evil out there and it can find anybody anywhere.”
‘Quick Thinking’ Seventh Grader Hailed As Hero For Stopping School Bus After Driver Passed Out
A Michigan middle schooler saved a busload of children when their driver lost consciousness as she was dropping them off at home.
13-year-old Dillon Reeves heroically prevented a catastrophic accident from happening when his bus driver fell ill and passed out while ferrying 65 children home from Carter Middle School on Wednesday.
A video of the incident showed the driver fanning herself with her hat, then calling in to the transportation hub to report that she felt ill and needed to pull over.
Dillon Comes To The Rescue As The Driver Goes Down
Before the driver could safely stop the bus, she passed out. Seconds later, Reeves, who was sitting in the fifth row, took action.
The bus was reportedly beginning to veer into oncoming traffic, when Reeves grabbed the steering wheel and guided the bus back into the proper lane, while stepping on the brake.
“Someone call 911. Now,” he yelled back to his panicking peers.
“A quick-thinking 7th-grade male student saw the driver in distress, stepped to the front of the
bus and helped bring it to a stop without incident,” Superintendent Robert D. Livernois wrote in a statement on Wednesday.
“The actions of the student who helped stop the bus made all the difference today, and I could
not be prouder of his efforts.”
In a press conference on Thursday, he said that the act “was an extraordinary act of courage and maturity” on Reeves’ part.
Livernois noted that the tween hockey player and band member “had the wherewithal to push the brake down slowly – likely in anticipation that the bus was full of passengers.”
Dillon Stops The Bus And Saves The Day
After stopping the bus, Reeves was assisted by two adults who witnessed the incident occur.
A passerby hopped onboard to help with the driver, while a woman who had been driving behind the bus stopped and helped kids exit through the emergency door in the back.
The bus driver was taken to the hospital by ambulance and is currently in stable condition.
“It’s amazing, and this is like, such a good feeling to be so proud,” his mother said in an interview with Fox 2 Detroit.
Reeves will be honored by the mayor his hometown Warren with a resolution of appreciation “for his heroic actions that go above and beyond what most people would do.”
High School Athletes Help Shelter Dogs Find Forever Homes
A Florida high school cross-country team has taken to running with shelter pups to help promote their adoptability to their local community.
George Steinbrenner High School’s Boss Cross long-distance running team has been taking dogs rescued by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay on runs for the last six years.
Their head coach Allison Szponar said that one of the boys’ mothers saw that the Humane Society was looking for volunteers, and the coaching staff decided to partner with the shelter by taking the pups out for daily runs during breaks from school.
Teen Runners Give Shelter Dogs New Life
The benefit of the experience is two-fold for the dogs; they get to go on a fun excursion outside of the shelter and are introduced to the community they run in.
Several of the boys’ families and neighbors have adopted the dogs after repeatedly noticing the pups out and about around town.
“The team understands the importance to the dogs but also to the community at large. Their families or neighbors might adopt any of these dogs,” a manager at Humane Society of Tampa Bay remarked.
According to their coach the volunteer opportunity aligns with the team motto, “Gentleman. Scholar. Athlete.”
“It’s a really cool brand we have, and it goes along with what our team is about,” Szponar said.
“I truly believe that these kids having this responsibility and having to care for others directly impacts our team and our success.”
Lost Dog Rescued In Detroit
In Detroit, Michigan, a heartbroken German shepherd was spotted wandering around a neighborhood with a stuffed toy, after her elderly owner passed away.
Local residents saw the dog, desperately searching for her deceased owner, while carrying the toy around like a security blanket.
South Lyon Murphy Lost Animal Recovery was dispatched to capture the senior pup, and after a few attempts that she deftly evaded, they brought her to a local animal shelter.
Both the dog, who they dubbed Nikki, and her stuffed toy were in bad shape upon intake, but the shelter was able to get them back up to snuff.
Nikki’s Waiting For A Forever Family
Nikki required hydration, rest, and medication, while the stuff toy was in desperate need of a good wash and some stitching.
The dog was reunited with her stuffed animal hours later, but was so weak and exhausted, she would “just sleep on it,” according to shelter staff.
Since her rescue, Nikki has gone into foster care with a “wonderful” family, as she continues medical treatment and waits to find a forever family.
Another rescue dog, based out of Amsterdam, Netherlands, was adopted by a new family, but spent her initial days cowering in her owner’s bed and refusing to venture out.
In a heartwarming video, Effie the rescue puppy has become a new dog in the month she’s been in her forever home.
In the TikTok post, which has been viewed over 178,000 times, Effie can be seen digging holes in a field, romping around a trail, getting belly rubs, and cuddling up to her owners.
Forget The Limo: Senior Takes A Tank To Prom
When high school junior Sherman Bynum told his potential date that he’d be “tankful” to take her to the prom, he wasn’t just being pithy.
The teenage tank enthusiast became a bonafide legend when he and his date rolled up to the Camas High School prom in World War II tank.
“We don’t like normal very much,” the Oregon resident told local outlet WJHG-News this week.
“I think the quote that we’ve been repeating a lot today is, you know, today’s the day, man. And we’re feeling really good.”
Sherman’s Strategic Plan
Bynum came up with the idea in February, when he learned that his high school was hosting the prom at the Portland Art Museum, but made some initial inquires that didn’t pan out.
“I made some phone calls to a group in Minnesota that rents battle tanks out for you to select for builders and stuff,” he remarked. “They were like $20,000, you know, and that’s happening.”
He also tried a local museum, and while they were unable to rent him an armored fighting vehicle, they did connect him with someone who could.
Bynum contacted Steve Greenburg, who owns a M3A1 Stuart tank from WWII, and struck a deal for battle-worthy escort to the dance.
BFF’s Cruise To The Dance
He looped in his best friend, senior Sam Tetro, and the the pair created a clever social media video to help raise funds needed to make his outlandish idea happen.
“The price tag is $1000. And so we decided to turn a GoFundMe by the end of the night,” Brynum detailed to KOIN 6 News.
“When that GoFundMe is posted, we had about 570 bucks, we’d reached the next goal within the next few days.”
The high school junior made sure he had all his ducks in a row, so his epic stunt wouldn’t be ruined by law enforcement.
“This act will be perfectly legal,” he explained. “According to all documents provided by the State of Oregon, and the information about the tank, we will be safely within road limits, and legal to carry this out. We are just looking to have fun and make a scene.”
Bynum maximized the fun by hiring a unicycle riding flaming bagpipe player to escort the tank in to the “Star Wars” theme song.
“Live your life to the fullest. That’s what it’s all about,” the young man added wisely.
8-Year-Old Boy Survives On Snow After Going Missing In State Park
An 8-year-old boy survived by eating snow while he was missing in the Michigan wilderness for 48-hours.
Nante Niemi was camping with his family over the weekend at Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, when he ventured into the woods to gather wood for their campfire.
The Wisconsin second grader’s parents reported that he was missing to the Michigan State Police (MSP) on Saturday night, when he didn’t return with kindling after last being seen during the early afternoon.
To add to his parent’s nightmare, the area they set up camp in was both “remote and hilly,” without cell phone service, and some roads were “impassible because of snow depth.”
Community Comes Together To Find Nante
Over 150 search and rescuers set out to scour a 40 square mile area on foot with K9’s, on water, and by air, but the Nante was not found on Saturday or Sunday.
Concerningly, the child had only been dressed in a sweatshirt and sweatpants, and temperatures both nights dropped into the 40s.
Rescuers caught a break when search member Matthew Tingstad found tracks left by the boy on Sunday night, but were unable to locate him.
“I called up a couple of friends that I know that are pretty capable of getting around in the woods,” he told WLUC.
“We devised a plan first thing this morning and we executed the plan, and we found the subject.”
Tingstad and Eli Talsma were part of the group that eventually found Nante 49-hours after he went missing.
Talsma, who is a friend of the family, was the person who first spotted Nante.
“I get over this little, tiny hill, and all I see is this little, tiny, white sweatshirt, and he goes, ‘Eli?’ And I just ran up over to him and I gave him the biggest hug,” he detailed.
“I was so relieved once I saw him.”
How Nante Helped Save Himself
The boy told him that he had been following the blue check marks on trees, and had seen helicopters searching, but didn’t get their attention.
The MSP said that Nante walked a trail until it dead ended, then decided it would be best to stop there and wait until help came.
He was able to keep warm at night by covering a log with branches and leaves, then sleeping under it.
The clever boy didn’t have any food or water on him, but ate clean snow to stay hydrated.
When Tinstad and Talsma found him, the offered to carry Nante on his back, but he wanted to walk.
Eventually he was too fatigued and Talsma carried him back to safety, where he was reunited with his family.
Watch A Teenage Umpire Save PeeWee Baseball Catcher From A Dust Devil
A teenager became an everyday hero when wild weather struck at the local baseball diamond.
17-year-old Aiden Wiles was umpiring a three-game youth baseball tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, when a dust devil formed out of nowhere behind home plate.
The Fort Caroline Athletic Association Indians had a batter up, when a funnel of sand and debris formed right on top of the Ponte Vedra Sharks’ catcher on Sunday afternoon.
Seven-year-old Bauer Zoya struggled to get out up from his catcher’s crouch as the wind whipped around him.
Bauer Takes Flight
“I couldn’t breathe that much,” Zoya said told local outlet News4Jax. “So I held my breath.”
“I feel like I couldn’t touch the ground,” he explained. “So I kind of lifted up a little bit.”
He eventually was able to stand, but was clearly disoriented as he struggled to get out of the tiny twister.
That’s when Wiles rushed to the plate, snatched Zoya out of the wind funnel, and carried him to safety.
Wiles said he was afraid of the odd weather phenomenon, but knew he had to help the pint-sized player.
“I was worried about his safety because when I got taught, the players’ safety is always the first thing,” he remarked.
The Game Goes On
Once the weather cleared up, the Mother’s Day match-up was back on, and Zoya took his place at the plate after his dad helped flush the dust out of his eyes with a water bottle wash-out.
The player’s father, Brian Zoya, was thankful that Wiles sprung into action to save his son.
“A kid that just had the presence in mind to just do that it’s just special to see,” he commented.
“It was pretty cool to see yesterday. He had great parents raising him.”
Despite his ordeal, the kid catcher believes that he played better because of the experience, because he was able to catch a pop fly during the game.
What’s A Dust Devil?
Dust devil’s are common occurrences throughout most of the world and normally only last for a few minutes before disappearing.
They typically occur on clear days with light wind, when heat from the ground creates a localized air pocket that forms into a spiraling vortex.
At their worst, dust devils can reach diameters of up to 300 feet, become thousands of feet tall, rotate at wind speeds over 60 mph, and last for more than an hour.
Lucky for Zoya, he was swept up into a relatively minor dust devil that dissipated after a few seconds.
How A 13-Year-Old Girl Fought Off Jaws
A tween girl detailed how she fought off a bull shark and won after being repeatedly bitten.
13-year-old Ella Reed was hanging out in the water with friend at a Florida beach close to her home on North Hutchinson Island when she was randomly attacked by a shark on Thursday.
The first bite came as an unexpected chomp to her side. “The shark itself was so powerful. That was what I felt the most because it was hitting my stomach really hard,” she told Local 10.
Ella protected herself by punching the shark, which only briefly deterred the creature before it swam back for more.
“It wouldn’t leave me alone, so I had to use my arm and use my hand too, so it got my arm and my finger,” she detailed.
The shark bit her in the abdomen, arm, finger, and at the top of her knee, before she was able to get away.
A Mother’s Nightmare
The friend she was with swiftly transported Ella back home in a golf cart. When she arrived, her mother, Devin Reed, told WPTV that she “seriously thought it was a prank,” until she saw all of the gore.
“It was insane because she was totally covered in blood pretty much from head to toe,” Devin remarked.
But she was astounded by her daughter’s composure during the incident. “There was blood everywhere and she was more of a trooper than anyone else.”
“We were all just shocked that it even happened,” Devin explained. “She was so calm even when we got in the hospital. She was telling all the nurses, ‘You can take pictures.’ She was like a pro.”
Ella said that the trauma of the incident dulled her body’s response to the shark bites.
“I was kinda in shock about everything that happened, so I wasn’t really in pain because the adrenaline was through the roof.”
She thinks that the predator who attacked her was a 5-6 foot bull shark, but said the incident wouldn’t keep her out of the ocean she has grown up next to.
Ella’s mother said that attack “doesn’t feel real” to her yet. “Never thought in a million years, not my kids,” she commented.
“They swim, go surfing. They know how to stay away from bait balls and stuff like that. The whole thing is surreal. It sounds like a movie.”
Middle School Students Fight Off Kidnapper At Bus Stop
A Maryland man attempted to snatch a student waiting at a bus stop, but was thwarted by a few brave preteens.
Jamaal Germany, 30, was arrested for trying to abduct an unnamed middle school child aged 11 to 13, while they waited to catch their school bus to Redland Middle School on Monday morning.
The incident happened at around 7:20 in the morning, when Germany approached the child and dragged them towards a nearby apartment building.
When Kids Attack
A few brave fellow students became everyday heroes, when they ganged up on Germany and helped get their classmate, who was unharmed, out of his grip.
The group boarded the bus when it arrived and told staff at Redland Middle School about the attempted crime when they made it safely to class.
Faculty members reported the incident to the school’s Community Engagement Officer, which led to investigators from Montgomery County Police Department arresting Germany.
The school district warned parents about the incident, and informed them of an increased police presence at the bus stop where the almost kidnapping occurred.
“You don’t expect to hear things like that in general happening so close to home,” said Redland Middle School parent Jartu Toweh.
“We know these things happen in the world, but it’s very unsettling when it happens close to your community.
According a neighbor, it’s not the first time that Germany has attempted to abduct a child.
“I have a high school student, and she catches the bus early in the morning,” said a local mother. “Apparently, he was at the bus stop last week doing the same thing.”
Three unidentified neighbors said that Germany had “threatened and yelled at them” in the past few days.
Another heroic student was honored at Oklahoma’s Lakeview Elementary for saving the life of a classmate.
When classmate Cashton York started choking on a chicken nugget, eight-year-old Garrett Brown sprung into action and performed the Heimlich maneuver, successfully dislodging the food.
“Extremely scary to know in a matter of seconds my child could have choked to death on food, at school when you’re not around,” York’s mom remarked
“There are not enough words to be grateful for saving him,” she added.
Brown was honored by the school and community for his life saving actions, which he had been trained to do by his father.
“My dad taught me. I was choking and he saved me and taught me to save someone else,” Brown commented.
13-Year-Old Keeps Younger Siblings Alive In Jungle For 40 Days After Plane Crash
A 13-year-old Columbian girl made sure her little siblings survived in the Amazon jungle after their plane went down 40 days ago.
Lesly Mucutuy and her younger siblings Soleiny, 9, Tien, 4, and Cristin, 11 months, managed to live through a plane crash that took the lives of their mother and two other adults.
The children were miraculously found alive 40 days after a routine flight from Araracuara to San Jose del Guaviare on a Cessna 206 disappeared from radars minutes into their 220 mile journey.
The Crash Site
Rescuers were able to locate the plane a few weeks later and only the adults’ bodies were found.
The wreckage gave them hope that the four children had lived through the crash, when they discovered the remains of partially-eaten fruit and child-size footprints.
At the time, Columbian President Gustavo Petro announced that children were safe, but quickly amended the statement to say there was evidence they could be lost in the forest.
The remote area of the Amazon jungle the plane crashed into is full of dangerous predators and rebel soldiers, and during their time missing had experienced several punishing storms.
The possibility that the children could be alive sparked a manhunt of 150 soldiers and 200 local indigenous residents through a 125 square mile swath of Amazon rainforest.
The Rescue Effort
Brigadier General Pedro Sanchez told The Guardian that he was confident the children for alive for a grim reason.
“This isn’t a needle in a haystack, it’s a tiny flea in a rug because they keep moving,” Sanchez explained.
“But if, God forbid, they were dead we would have already have found them, because they would be still.”
During the 40 day hunt, the country’s military left food packages and bottled water in spots around the jungle.
They also airdropped 10,000 flyers in Spanish and the children’s native language Huitoto, which included survival tips and instructions to stay in the same area.
Searchers flew planes overhead with their grandmother’s voice calling out to them, as she is the one who has reportedly raised them and made sure they were trained to survive in their indigenous jungle community in Vaupes, Columbia.
The children are part of the Huitoto Indigenous group where they learn to hunt, gather, and fish in the jungle from a young age.
Finally Found 40 Days Later
The siblings were located on Friday, the fortieth day after the crash. They were bitten up by bugs, malnourished and dehydrated, but miraculously alive.
They were raised from the forest floor by a winch on a helicopter and taken to a military hospital for treatment. Doctors believe they will remain in the facility for treatment for up to three weeks.
Officials credit Lesley for keeping her younger brother and sisters alive. Her aunt, Damarys Mucutuy, said that she knew how to identify non-poisonous plants and how to care for a baby, who she was well versed in watching while her mother was at work.
“She gave them flour and cassava bread, any fruit in the bush, they know what they must consume,” Mucutuy detailed.
“It is thanks to [Lesly], her value and her leadership, that the three others were able to survive, with her care, her knowledge of the jungle,” Columbian Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez remarked.
Their Mother’s Last Words
Manuel Ranoque, the father of the youngest two children, said that Lesly told him that his wife had survived the crash for four days before succumbing to her injuries. Prior to passing, she told the children to save themselves.
“They used what they learned in the community, relied on their ancestral knowledge in order to survive,” indigenous leader John Moreno stated.
“It is a joy for the whole country,” Petro said after their rescue. “They were alone, they themselves achieved an example of total survival which will remain in history.”
12-Year-Old Graduates From College With Five Degrees
A remarkable child genius collected not just one, but five college degrees last weekend, and a 72-year-old man became the oldest of his class to graduate.
12-year-old Clovis Hung became a Fullerton College record holder for the youngest graduate to earn multiple degrees.
He enrolled just three years ago, at the extremely impressive age of nine, and pursued higher knowledge in the fields of History, Social Sciences, Social Behavior and Self-Development, Arts and Human Expression, and Science and Mathematics.
“Clovis is super inquisitive, mature, diligent, self-disciplined, and highly motivated. He is also very curious and traditional public schools could not satisfy his curiosity, therefore, the best option was college,” his mother said in an interview.
Hung is “proud” that he graduated and feels that all of his “hard work has finally paid off.”
The young genius plans to work in a civil capacity when he’s is old enough to get a job without breaking child labor laws. Until then, he has his sights set on the skies.
“I also just joined the Civic Air Patrol and hope to get my pilot license at age 16,” Hung told CBS News.
Contrarily, a 72-year-old Georgia man became Georgia Gwinnett College’s oldest 2023 graduate.
Lawrenceville resident Sam Kaplan opted to skip out on pursuing a higher education when he graduated from high school in 1969.
Fifty years later, he changed his mind after hearing an advertisement for a local college program in 2019.
“I was riding down the highway and heard on the radio they were offering this degree,” he recalled.
“The next exit was Collinsville, so I exited off and five minutes later, I was registering for class.”
The author of two books enrolled in the cinema and media arts program to learn screenwriting.
“I’ve always liked to write, I love to tell stories,” he told Fox 5 Atlanta. “I thought I could turn my stories into screenplays, but I needed to have the foundation of what to do.”
He said that going back to school after fifty years was a “challenge” that he was thrilled about.
Loving School Years Later
“Learning how to study again and interacting with the students was a lot of fun,” Kaplan remarked. “I’m very excited, and I feel proud of myself for doing this.”
When he graduated last week, Kaplan’s proudest moment was when his 98-year-old mother got to witness him walking across the stage.
“I am so proud of him,” she said of his accomplishment. “He had many challenges, but he persevered, and I am so pleased, delighted and very, very proud.”
“With his new degree, he’s going to be so successful in anything he does. And, who knows, I might even be in the movies.”
High School Senior Gets Accepted To Over 100 Schools And Has $9 Million In Scholarship Offers
A New Orleans high school senior has received $9 million in college scholarship offers, but is hoping to hit double digits by the end of the month.
Dennis Barnes, a senior at International High School of New Orleans, may have broken the Guinness World Record for most scholarship offers, after applying 200 colleges across the nation.
The impressive student has a GPA of 4.98 and is a leader in his school’s National Honor Society chapter.
In his spare time, he’s learned fluent Spanish, and has spent the last two years earning college credits at the Southern University of New Orleans.
The College Application Process
“I submitted college applications in August, with an eye on raising the bar high for college admissions. Decision letters were an overflow in my mailbox and hundreds of scholarship offers,” Barnes told local news outlet WWL.
He was accepted to 125 schools in the fall, and hopes to reach $10 million in scholarship offers in his pursuit to double major in computer science and criminal justice after graduating high school on May 24.
Though the Guinness Book of World Records has yet to officially confirm it, he has beat the previous scholarship record, held by a Lafayette, Louisiana high school senior in 2019, by $300,000.
“The road to a successful future is to plan ahead, network with the collegiate partners, and know that If you can see your vision, you can achieve your goal,” Barnes advised seniors applying to colleges.
Daya Brown’s Successful Strategy
Atlanta high school senior Daya Brown, 18, who has been accepted to 54 colleges and received $1.3 million in scholarships said that standing out was the key to her success.
“Realistically, these schools have a hard acceptance rate. People from all over the world send in applications,” she told the Washington Post. “You want to do whatever you can to make yours stand out.”
“I have a great GPA, but I knew that my SAT scores weren’t going to be the best and I wouldn’t be at the level of many other kids who were applying,” Brown explained.
“Colleges love the uniqueness about applications,” she advised high school students.
“Sign up for those internships and go apply for that job. Go to that volunteer experience because they want to see who you are as a person.”
Brown was the student council president for all four years of her high school experience, and co-founded podcast “The Scholar Social,” before opening her own production company, Elom & Co., in 2021.
She spent three hours a day over a four month period applying to 70 different colleges and had more than a 77% acceptance rate.
“No, it wasn’t easy. Yes, you have to stay up many nights to get the work done,” Brown told Good Morning America.
“But at the same time, it wouldn’t feel like such a burden if it’s your passion. I wake up every day, happy about what I do.”
She has since committed to attending Duke University in North Carolina, where she plans to major in visual and media studies.
A Teen Born In Jail And An Almost Child Bride Make It To Harvard
Two young women who were raised under harrowing circumstances – one born to a jailed mother and the other nearly forced to marry at age 12 – both got accepted to Harvard University.
18-year-old Sky Castner was born in Galveston County Jail to an incarcerated mother, then picked up as a newborn and raised by her single father.
Castner was an avid reader at a young age and was introduced to a community mentorship program by the staff at her elementary school.
Mentoring Above And Beyond
She was paired with Mona Hamby at 8-years-old, and the duo formed a decade long relationship.
“She told me ‘I’ve been to jail.’ I said “No, that can’t be right,’” Hambry told the Houston Chronicle. “I knew that I can’t just go eat lunch with this kid once a week, she needed more.”
Hambry, who also grew up without a mother, went above and beyond the mentorship program’s parameters, by taking her to get her first salon haircut and reading glasses.
“It was a very different environment than I grew up in and that’s not a bad thing,” Castner said.
“Everything that Mona taught me was very valuable in the same way that everything that I went through before Mona was very valuable.”
The teenager was also supported by the local community, who paid for her receive dental care and go to summer camp.
Castner joined her high school’s Academy for Health and Science Professions and graduated third in her class this year.
“There was something satisfying about having all As and having that accomplishment. Grades just meant a lot to me,” she said about the achievement.
She begins classes at Harvard in the fall, where she plans on studying law. Castner will be joined Aria Mustary, 23, who will begin her masters in Entrepreneurship, Education Leadership and Organizations.
From Almost Child Bride To Collegiate Scholar
Mustary was born to Bangladesh immigrants in New York, but her father tried to send her back to the country and marry her off to her first cousin at age 12.
“My mom had said no but my dad argued, ‘She’s rebellious, she doesn’t go to school anyway and she’s not going to go anywhere with her life so let’s just get her married off,'” she told Insider.
Mustary’s mother, Syeda, was a child bride herself, and a was unhappily forced to marry at a young age and bear two children.
When her father argued that they did not have enough resources to properly support the family, Mustary was able convince Syeda to leave that day.
“I begged my mom to divorce him and leave the oppressive environment,” she detailed. “Enough was enough.”
Syeda and the two girls moved to an apartment in Queens, New York, where she opened a small fabric business to make ends meet.
Mustary said that many of her female relatives were married off at young ages due to financial reasons, and believe that if there were better options, their parents would not force them to wed.
She created the Mai Soli Foundation to teach young girls in developing countries to be self-sufficient.
“Based on my personal life, I wanted to create a program to help young girls secure their own education, have financial literacy, open bank accounts, and create incentives for families so they don’t resort to marriage,” Mustary explained.
Due to her ambition and achievements, she was accepted into the Harvard University masters program in the fall.