It’s a story that’s gained national attention.

Some local middle school students helped talk a suicidal woman off a bridge earlier this month.

During Thursday’s Fresno City Council Meeting, those Kepler Neighborhood School students were recognized for their heroic actions and exemplary behavior.

“Their bravery saved a woman’s life,” said Council Member, Esmeralda Soria.

One by one, 14 Kepler Neighborhood School students donning shirts that said: “Our Voice can Change the World” received the first-ever Medals of Honor from the City of Fresno and certificates of recognition. 

For volleyball practice on that fateful day, the boys ran on the Stanislaus Bridge, a place they’ve never conditioned before, when they came across the woman.

“We realized that it was a serious moment once we ran back up and she was dangling off the bridge so we were telling her positive things like, her life matters and she doesn’t need to end it… there’s things to live for,” 8th grader, Elijah Gomez explained. 

Their coach called 911.

“After I hung up, I started praying and they kept on screaming and yelling and finally, the lady made it back up,” said Coach Elliott Murray.

Character, community, competence, and creativity are the values of Keplar Neighborhood School.

The 4 c’s were courageously demonstrated on April 5th as the volleyball team jumped into action using their voices to change one woman’s life. 

“Making her think that there are people who care and she can’t do it in front of us,” Gomez said.  

The middle school students ultimately stepped up when no one else could.

“I was scared but I knew this was a moment to react instead of just being shocked,” said 7th grader, Branden Ezell. 

“I’m so proud of them,” concluded Coach Murray.

Also part of their recognition, the students received access to the City of Fresno’s baseball suite. 

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