Winston School 2013 graduate and Venturing Scout Tim Higgins is receiving the Boy Scout Meritorious Action Award (Medal of Merit) for saving a woman’s life during a People First meeting. Congressman Scott Peters presented the award to Higgins this past December.
Higgins was attending the meeting for People First, which helps those with developmental disabilities self-advocate, when he saw the woman turning blue from choking on a sandwich. He performed the Heimlich maneuver on her while she was sitting in her scooter, clearing her airway. He also directed the others in the room to call 911 and then talked to the dispatcher while assisting the woman until the first responders arrived to take her to the hospital.
The Boy Scouts Medal of Merit may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has performed some outstanding act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others. Well known for being an outstanding student and citizen, this is not Higgins’ first public acknowledgement. In 2012, he was one of two students chosen to serve on the California Department of Education’s Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE), a group authorized by Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). He is in the second year of the two-year appointment that requires he review local programs and attend four to six meetings a year.
In the short two years he was at the Winston School, he became a standout student, co-winning the Winston School’s Headmaster’s Award at his class graduation ceremonies last spring. The Headmaster’s Award is the highest honor given each year to the upper school student who best exemplifies the values of the Winston School. He just enrolled at Radford University to earn his EMT certificate, so that he can continue as a volunteer for the Salem Rescue Squad.