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Teen Hero

Seventeen-year-old Jakob Thompson saved a swimmer from drowning in a dangerous inlet.
Aerial view of Boynton Beach Inlet with an inset map showing the inlet’s location in Florida

© 6381380—iStock/Getty Images Plus; Photo composite Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

A teenager from Florida is being recognized as a hero after saving a woman from drowning in a fast-moving inlet. Jakob Thompson, 17, received two awards that are reserved for people who perform heroic acts.

Thompson was near the Boynton Inlet in South Florida in November 2023 when he became aware that a woman was struggling in the water. The inlet is known to be dangerous. Its strong current can overpower swimmers, and its seawall makes it difficult to exit the water. But Thompson didn’t hesitate to jump in. An avid swimmer who spends a lot of time at area waterways, he swam about 90 feet (27 meters) before he reached the woman, put an arm around her, and took her back to the seawall. Two people helped the pair out of the water.

“I think the adrenaline took over,” Thompson later told WPEC CBS 12.  

The story got a lot of attention. One of the people who heard about it was Sarah Perry, who lost her son when he tried to save someone from drowning. Perry has since started a scholarship fund for teen heroes. Thompson is the first recipient. He said the money will enable him to train as a firefighter—something he’s been planning.

“Now after having a scholarship, it’s gonna take care of everything and I know I’m going to be able to finish my schooling as a firefighter,” Thompson told WPEC CBS 12.

Along with 16 other individuals, Thompson also received the Carnegie Medal, which goes to people in the United States and Canada who risk their safety to save the lives of others.

Did You Know?

An underwater camera captured images of some of the fish that swim in Boynton Inlet. See if you can guess who or what will appear about halfway through the video below!

Courtesy of ACG Adventures (Youtube: @acgAdventures)

Pet Popularity Contest

A dog is excited to be the favorite while a cat says Whatever.

© Pavlo Syvak/, © jongjawi/; Animation Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

May is National Pet Month, when cat and dog owners debate which pet is superior. If popularity is anything to go by, then dogs are the winner. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 62 million U.S. households include one or more dogs, while 37 million households have cats.

Wondering how popular your favorite pet is? Check out the numbers below.

A bar graph called Most Popular Pets shows the percentage of U S households owning dogs, cats, fish, birds, and reptiles, gerbils, or rabbits.

© Lysandra Cook—Moment, Jessica Lee—EyeEm, Max Bailen—Image Source/Getty Images, © Evgeniy/, © Evajoy, Melisa Botic, Betelgejze/, Infographic Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Giving It Away

A portrait of Andrew Carnegie along with three of his libraries.

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (cph 3b35116, LC-DIG-highsm-49817), © Bill H/, © Frank Schulenburg (CC BY-SA 4.0); Photo composite Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Teen hero Jakob Thompson received the Carnegie Medal, which is given to people who risk their lives to save others. The award was established by Andrew Carnegie, an industrialist who gave away a lot of his immense wealth to help others. (Your public library may have been built with Carnegie’s money!)

You can learn more about Andrew Carnegie at Britannica.



: staying strong and determined even when things are difficult
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