Edgewood Elementary School is celebrating the heroic efforts of a fifth-grade student.
The entire student body gathered on Wednesday as the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office recognized Jonathan Mendez-Osornio for saving a man’s life.
On Aug. 25, Jonathan was selling chocolate bars for a school fundraiser. He was going door-to-door in his neighborhood when he came upon a home where he heard someone calling out for help.
There was no answer at the door, so Jonathan used his cell phone to call 911.
Emergency responders arrived and found an elderly man who was in need of medical help.
Deputy Jacob Payne was a responding officer with the Sheriff’s Department that day, and was at Edgewood on Thursday for the recognition ceremony.
“Jonathan could have walked away from that door,” Payne said. “But he heard a call for help, and he answered it, and for that we thank you.”
While protecting the privacy of the person who was assisted, Payne was only able to confirm that the person received the care he needed and is alive today thanks to Jonathan’s quick action.
“Everyone has a hero – and Jonathan is ours,” said La Porte County Sheriff John Boyd, who was in attendance at the recognition ceremony. “If you see something that isn’t right, report it. Because of what Jonathan did, there’s a man alive today. We are proud of him … his actions are a reflection of his parents and his school.”
Principal Kristin Smith of Edgewood Elementary School said “habits of character” are a regular part of the curriculum at her school. Character traits such as respect, kindness, empathy, and integrity are taught to help students become ethical people.
Smith used Jonathan’s rescue efforts to connect school lessons to real-life situations, saying he exemplified the habit of integrity by doing the right thing when no one was watching.
“Sometimes we might not see the connection between our learning at school and our own lives,” she said. “This is a perfect example of showing integrity and helping others in need. The Edgewood crew could not be more inspired by and proud of Jonathan.”