Congressman Scott Peters awards Del Mar Winston School graduate the Boy Scout Heroism Award for saving woman’s life

Winston School 2013 graduate Tim Higgins recently received the Boy Scout Heroism Award for saving a woman’s life during a People First meeting. Congressman Scott Peters of California’s 52nd district presented the award to Higgins Dec. 19 at The Winston School in Del Mar.

Higgins, who participates in Boy Scouts, was attending the meeting for People First, which helps those with developmental disabilities self-advocate, when he saw the woman turning blue from choking on a sandwich. He performed the Heimlich maneuver on her while she was sitting in her scooter, clearing her airway. He also directed the others in the room to call 911 and then talked to the dispatcher while assisting the woman until the first responders arrived to take her to the hospital.

The Boy Scouts Heroism Award recognizes a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save life at minimum risk to self. While the action taken need not involve attempts of rescue at risk to self, it must put into practice scouting skills and or ideals. Since first awarded in 1923, the Boy Scouts have given the award 3,506 times and in 2012 the total number was 155.

According to Headmaster Mike Peterson, “Tim’s leadership and courage were always on display at Winston, so none of us is surprised about Tim’s quick and decisive action. He’s the kind of person you want to have around when there’s a crisis.”

Well known for being an outstanding student and citizen, this is not Higgins first public acknowledgement. In 2012, he was one of two students chosen to serve on the California Department of Education’s Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE), a group authorized by Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). He is in the second year of the two-year appointment that requires he review local programs and attend four to six meetings a year.

The Winston School ( is a college preparatory program for bright, creative students in grades 4 through 12 who have struggled to meet their potential. Higgins started at the Winston School in November 2010 after struggling in public school with learning differences and social challenges stemming from having Asperger’s Syndrome.

In the short two years he was at the school, he became a standout student co-winning the Winston School’s Headmasters Award at his class graduation ceremonies last spring. The Headmaster’s Award is the highest honor given each year to the upper school student who best exemplifies the values of The Winston School.

Outside of school, Higgins also earned a Karate Black Belt Level 8 and he produced television shows for Del Mar TV. He also scuba dives and volunteers at the YMCA and the White Sea Bass Project and shares a passion for trains with his father, volunteering weekends as a docent cashier/tour guide for the San Diego Vintage Trolley.