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Shining World Hero Award: Smart and Brave Youths in Action    
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Everywhere in the world, we can observe and be touched by acts of kindness. People from all walks of life, faiths, and cultures extend themselves beyond the call of duty to help others unconditionally. Through their noble deeds, humanity as a whole is elevated.

To commend virtuous actions and encourage more people to be inspired by their examples, Supreme Master Ching Hai has lovingly created a series of awards, including the Shining World Leadership Award, Shining World Compassion Award, Shining World Hero and Heroine Awards, Shining World Honesty Award, Shining World Protection Award, Shining World Intelligence Award, and Shining World Inventor Award, to recognize some of the most exemplary, generous, caring, and courageous people who walk amongst us.

Dean Kayler and Carly Overhauser, both age 15, were sitting on a dock overlooking Shadow Lake in Washington, USA

Me and Carly, were just coming down here to the floating dock to just hang out and talk in the sun, just enjoy the summer, when the man came onto the beach and he started swimming. He swam across the lake to a pair of private docks, a little before he reached the private docks, he started calling for help, screaming for somebody to help him.

So me and Carly jumped in the water, and we had to run back to the road and going around the lake to try and find where he was. After finding the closest dock, I saw him floating in the water a couple of inches below face down, completely limp.

And so I stripped down and I jumped in the water. And I swam over to him. I could tell right away that he wasn’t in good shape. I tried to lift him onto the dock when I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to do that. I carried him around the dock, trying to keep his head above the water without constricting his neck.

My head kept dipping under the water because of the weight, but I managed to get him around enough.

I managed to pull him up as far as I could onto the beach where his head was out of the water and I went and called 911.

While Dean was on the phone with emergency services, Carly took over to do emergency resuscitation procedures, which she had recently learned in school.

It was really hard to do, especially because he was so big. He was like 250 pounds. You’re supposed to hear the ribs cracking while you’re doing chest compressions. So I literally I had to push all my weight down on him just to get a crack. His lungs I could tell when I did mouth to mouth, that they were completely full of water, he was blue.

After Carly got tired after about 15 minutes of doing CPR, I took over with chest compressions. And so once the paramedics got there, they managed to get the man a pulse and brought him to the hospital.

Arriving paramedics took the man to the hospital in critical condition, with the emergency crew saying that he would not be alive if it weren’t for the two teenagers. Sadly, after several days, the man could not be revived completely.

I thought I saved him, like, he would be living today. But actually being able to meet his daughter, and seeing, he did have a good life, it made me feel better. Because he was taken off life-support systems because he was under the water so long…

We did meet one of his daughters here at the beach, a couple of days later. And one of his other daughters emailed me and so we emailed back and forth a little bit.

The brave and unassuming teens shared their feelings looking back on the incident.

Next couple of days, there were a couple of TV interviews and stuff with some news channels. But for me it’s just something that sort of happened and I did what had to be done and that was that.

It was a big deal for me. And you know, I don’t know, you don’t go through something like that every day.

It’s changed my perspectives on a lot of things.

Like helping other people. I actually… well, all the time, like, listening in actual CPR classes, or just (ordinary) classes, like not taking things for granted.

For their noble deed, Supreme Master Ching Hai honored Dean Kayler and Carly Overhauser with the Shining World Hero and Heroine Awards, along with US$500 each towards the teenagers' school books.

“Dear Dean and Carly, It is with much pleasure and gratitude that we present to you both the Shining World Hero Award. This award is presented in recognition of the outstanding courage, initiative and caring teamwork you displayed in saving the life of a stranger. Such compassionate heroism brightens hearts and fills our community with the warmth, assurance and peace of mind of knowing we are all connected and in a kind and loving world.

Hanging out together on a dock overlooking Shadow Lake, you heard the sounds of a person struggling in the water and calling for help, and then saw a man’s figure floating face down in the lake. Responding immediately, you Dean, ran until you found a place where you could reach the water, then jumped in and pulled the man safely to shore.

“I just knew that the sooner I got him here, the more likely it would be that he would survive if he was alive at all,” you said. Despite your frantic screams to attract attention, no one else arrived. Being solely responsible for the life or death of another person is a frightening situation to find yourself in, but you Carly, handled it with aplomb, overcoming your nerves to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a skill you had fortuitously just learned in school.

The emergency crew who took the man to hospital said he would not be alive if it weren’t for your faultless response and lifesaving aid. Bravo, Dean and Carly! You are super teens indeed. May Heaven bless you for your pure hearts, caring diligence and sacrificing spirit of love and concern.

For your selfless bravery and unhesitating willingness to assist, for your fast and wise reaction in a critical situation, and for being positive and inspirational role models for the youth of the world, we hereby applaud and celebrate the valued deeds of hero Dean Kayler and heroine Carly Overhauser, brave, young students of Ravensdale. With Great Honor, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai”

Dean.

Thank you.

And Carly.

Thank you.

The Shining World Hero Award. For Dean. (Thank you) And for Carly (Thank you).

In addition, we would like to present you both with a check for US$500 towards to your books at school and so on.

Thank you. (Dean, Carly.)

Thank you.

We also have a Hero’s jacket. Keep you nice and warm in case you’re swimming again.

In addition to the awards, Carly and Dean also were presented gifts, including Supreme Master Ching Hai’s lecture DVDs, music CDs, and her #1 international bestselling books, “The Dogs in My Life,” “The Birds in My Life,” and “The Noble Wilds.”

Thank you.

Dean.

Carly.

Thank you.

I would like to thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for giving us these awards.

And I would also like to thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for these awards.

Bravo and our admiring salute, Dean Kayler and Carly Overhauser for your quick actions and caring team work.

Late at night, 11-year-old Luis Reteguin awakened to hear his mother cry out for help as an intruder with a weapon entered their apartment in Chicago, Illinois. Even though young Luis was half the man’s size, he rushed to defend his mom.

I was in bed. My husband comes home more or less at 1:30 am when I heard the door to my room opening. I thought it was him.

He came up to me, I smelled that he smelled of wine, and since my husband does not drink, that's when I realized... and I woke up and started to scream, to struggle with him. I began to say, “You are not my husband! Who are you? What do you want?” And began to defend myself as I could.

We got off the bed, and I started, to defend myself. And my son heard my screaming and that was when he got up. He got up and started yelling at this person: “Leave my mom alone! Leave my mom alone!”

The intruder, intoxicated and made violent by alcohol, left indiscriminate scars that can still are visible on the face, neck, and torso of mother and son. Fortunately, the wounds have been healing and fading with each day. Now, brave Luis, who was only 11 years old at the time of the incident, tells his experience.

Luis, you and your brother Jesus and your sister were as asleep when the intruder broke in. How did you get involved?

Well, I wasn’t really asleep, I was just laying down in my bed. I heard the door open and he went in my room. I was watching TV, but I thought it was my dad so I was acting like I was sleeping, because he gets mad usually when I’m up late. My dad usually turns off the TV too. So the man turned off the TV.

And he walked into my sister’s room. And then he went into my mom’s room. That’s when he went inside and closed the door and then I heard my mom. I was hearing my mom just screaming, “Help me!” in Spanish. So that’s when I just got out of my bed and I ran to my mom’s room and I saw… I was like, “What’s happening?” And I just see my mom just fighting the guy and my mom was bleeding.

So I just went up to the guy and I started punching him, I was hitting him. Then that’s when he pushed me towards the bathroom, which is right across from my mom’s room. He pushed me there and then I fell to the floor and he started cutting me, and that’s when I got the cuts.

The struggle with the man continued in the kitchen. That’s when the 11-year-old switched to using his head instead of his hands.

I went to pick up the phone and I was calling the police. When he saw me with the phone he just ran off, he just ran out.

Although both mom and son sustained injuries, they were released from the hospital the following day.

I never thought that this was going to happen, because it’s like a calm neighborhood, and I didn’t think that this was going to happen, but...

But you took action. And for your actions Supreme Master Ching Hai has bestowed upon you the Shining World Hero Award, which is accompanied by a letter from Supreme Master Ching Hai. And at this point I’d like to read what the letter says.

“…Luis, you are a true hero, making mom and indeed whole world so proud. To have such maturity and calm, your gallantry and unwavering spirit of selfless filial love saved the day and brought tears to my eyes. We wish you and your mom a speedy recovery and many happy moments together under Heaven’s grace and protection.

…we hereby applaud and celebrate the heroic deeds of Louis Reteguin, super boy with the heart of a lion. With Great Honor, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai” You are hereby awarded the Shining World Hero Award, which reads: “From the Supreme Master Ching Hai for Louis Reteguin, the ultimate guardian angel.” Would you like to say some words to Supreme Master Ching Hai?

Well, first of all I want to say thanks for supporting me in all this and for the gifts and everything. And thank you for the award.

Now it’s been a few month later, how do you feel?

Well, I feel great. I don’t feel the cuts anymore, I don’t feel pain. I am back to normal.

You’re back to normal. Well, we’re just glad to have young men like you.

Thank God, first to God that God was there. Well, my angel who was a hero to me, my angel that helped me a lot, and God gave him the courage to defend his mother.

I am very proud of this.

For his valiant actions, Luis Reteguin was honored not only with the Shining World Hero Award, but also a US$1,000 gift to help with his and his mom’s recovery.

Thank you, I appreciate very much that you remember people when they go through these things. It is a strength that supports us, morally and economically. Thank you. God bless you all.

Luis also received a bright yellow Hero jacket and a package of gifts including vegan treats, the compilation of Supreme Master Ching Hai’s stories in “God Takes Care of Everything,” and Supreme Master Ching Hai’s #1 international bestselling books, “The Dogs in My Life” and “The Birds in My Life.”

Young Luis, we are touched and applaud your loving bravery to save your mother. May God bless you both with a full recovery and many more cherished moments together with your entire faithful family.

Lovely viewers, it was a pleasure having you with us today. Now, please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Words of Wisdom, coming up next after Noteworthy News. Wishing Heaven’s protection for you and your loved ones.
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