South Tucson teens honored for the heroic efforts to save a women’s life

South Tucson teens honored for the heroic efforts in saving a women’s life
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 8:41 AM MST|Updated: Sep. 6, 2023 at 1:28 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Two teens from South Tucson are being recognized for their heroic efforts.

While volunteering at the 4th Avenue Street Fair this past March, Izeyah Shonk and Saul Rodarte, “Explorers” with the South Tucson Police Department, didn’t think twice about stepping in when a woman was suffering from a diabetic episode.

“This allows young people to explore the benefits of being a police officer, fireman, or medic.” Jonathan Lang, the Council Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America said.

“Rescuing is a strong word for this situation,” Shonk said.

Despite being recognized by the South Tucson City Council they tell 13 News, it’s just another day on the job.

“It was more of us doing what we know we need to do,” Shonk said. “As an “Explorer,” we are held to the same standards as police officers.”

According to both Shonk and Rodarte, their training prepared them to help.

“It feels good knowing that we helped someone but at the end of the day we move on and we take our win,” Shonk said.

Officer Carlos Valdez, once an “Explorer” himself, said teens learn so many life-saving techniques.

“The basic model we have in law enforcement is that the community is the police and the police are the community,” Valdez said. “This helps bridge that and it helps the young people in the community actually give back to the community.”

Both hope to pursue a career in law enforcement. They said joining the program helps bridge the gap in the community, which is one of the main reasons they joined the program.

“It will help me in the future because I want to be in law enforcement in the future,” Rodarte said. “Getting the perspective of what an officer does will really help me.”

According to Valdez, even though they might not think of themselves as heroes these special recognitions help show the community the good that is happening.

“When you have the community and the department, and the council members seeing that and appreciating it. The round of applause the two boys got today. You can’t put it in words. That says it all,” Valdez said.

Shonk and Rodarte are encouraging other kids their age to think about participating in the program because they believe it’s preparing them for more than a life in law enforcement.

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