Entries in Middle Schooler (2)


Chicago Middle Schooler Saves Two Lives in One Week

(CHICAGO) -- Saving a life is impressive enough, but a Chicago area middle school student saved not only his best friend but also his teacher, all in the same week.

Travon Avery, an eighth grader at Herget Middle School in Aurora, Ill., was in class one day in January when his best friend Jose Duran started choking on a candy bar.

"He was eating candy and I made him laugh and then the candy got stuck in throat and he started choking. Everyone around was in shock," Travon said Friday in an interview with ABC News. "So I put my hand under his rib cage three times and did the Heimlich."

Jose's face, Travon said, was turning red, his eyes were welling with tears, and he was clutching his throat.

"I thought I was going to lose my friend. It was very scary," Travon said.

Thanks to Travon's quick thinking and immediate action, he was able to dislodge the candy and save Jose's life.

But Travon's amazing week did not end there. Two days later he was in math class when his teacher took a turn for the worse.

"She wasn't acting normal, so we were paying very close attention to her. Then she leaned over on the board and closed her eyes. We thought she was just sleeping, but she was passed out," Travon recalled. "I checked to see if she was breathing and she was, so I ran out of the class and got the nurse."

Soon an ambulance arrived to help the teacher.

That night the school called to inform Travon and his mother, Crystal Ruffin-Mason, that the teacher had been suffering from migraines and was now doing fine.

"They said that his quick action really helped avert something serious happening to his teacher," Ruffin-Mason said. "And they wanted to check on Travon because he was shaken up. They wanted to make sure he was okay emotionally."

Travon's heroics have since brought him national recognition. Earlier this week he appeared on The Steve Harvey Show, where he was named a Harvey's Hero. Travon says his mother deserves credit for his life-saving efforts.

"My mom taught me if someone needed help not to just stand there and not do anything, but to make an effort and try," he said.

On the show, Travon was presented with a $10,000 college scholarship from the U Promise program by Sallie Mae.

"I feel glad and blessed," he said.

"I'm so proud of him," said his mother. "That was so wonderful. Now he's so motivated and excited about college."

In addition to music, Travon's true passion is basketball, she said, but recently he had an idea that kids should focus less on sports and more on first aid.

"So you normally have camp for sports, but we should have a camp for teaching people CPR and the Heimlich," he suggested. "Even just a couple days a week where kids come out and learn."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Middle Schooler Raped by Eight Teen Gang Members

ABC News(MORENO VALLEY, Calif.) -- A gang of teen boys are accused of savagely raping an 11-year-old girl they lured from a California shopping mall and brutalized in the dank men's room of a nearby park, police said.

The oldest of the alleged attackers is Michael Sykes, 19, who was arrested Monday following a two-week manhunt. He is charged with rape, sodomy and assault of a minor.

Sykes is the oldest and last charged member of a group of seven other teens who police say are all members of a local street gang known as the South Side Mafia.

The March 10 rape may have been part of a perverse gang initiation rite, according to police, who said the teens would be further prosecuted on gang-enhanced charges and could be charged as adults.

Police say the girl was lured to Victoriano Park in Moreno Valley, Calif., by an older girl, who she may have known and who may have been working for the gang. The older girl has also been charged for abetting the commission of rape.

The seven other gang members, aged 14 to 17, were arrested soon after the 11-year-old girl came forward to report the crime. Police say they did not initially make news of the crime public so as not to endanger the investigation.

On Monday, the Riverside County Sheriff announced they were looking for Sykes, believing he had fled to Los Angeles. He was arrested later that day.

Sykes and the other boys do not yet have attorneys, police said.

The police have not identified the girl or the accused minor assailants.

It is unknown whether the victim knew the young men, said Cpl. Courtney Donowho, spokeswoman for the Riverside County Sheriff.

Donowho said police do not believe the boys photographed the scene as has happened in other recent gang rape cases.

The incident follows several similar high-profile group sexual assaults.

In February, 13-year-old from Banning, Calif., reported being held down and assaulted by two boys also at a park.

Earlier this month the alleged rape of an 11-year-old girl from Cleveland, Texas, by 18 men and boys ranging in age from 14 to 26 sparked national outrage.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio