Staff report

Nine students have been chosen as recipients of the 2017 Louisiana Young Heroes Awards, including Matthew Guzzardo, a senior at Denham Springs High School.

The 22-year-old program celebrates the achievements of students who have inspired those around them, and have devoted their time, talents and energy to make their schools, churches or communities better places.

LPB and the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge sponsor the program, underwritten this year by Acadian Companies, CenturyLink, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana.

The nine winners and their families will be the honorees at a luncheon on Apr. 23 at the Governor’s Mansion, a banquet at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge, and more.

In addition to Denham Springs’ Guzzardo, this year’s Louisiana Young Heroes are Alyssa Carson of Baton Rouge, a 10th grader at Baton Rouge International School, Alyssa Dismuke of Bastrop, a 7th grader at St. Frederick Junior High School in Monroe, Kacie Francois of Lafayette, an 8th grader at Paul Breaux Middle School, Reagan Hill of Mandeville, a 12th grader at St. Paul’s School in Covington, Addison Patton of Choudrant, a 12th grader at Choudrant High School, twins Jeremain and Jeremaih Robinson of Baton Rouge, 10th graders at McKinley High School, and Daniel Wesley of Baton Rouge, a 12th grader at Central High School.

Matthew Guzzardo became a hero to many after the Great Flood of 2016 in August that devastated a large portion of his hometown of Denham Springs.

When the water began rapidly rising in his subdivision, Guzzardo and another student went house to house at 4 a.m. to wake up their unsuspecting neighbors.

The boys noticed a neighbor’s car stuck in the rising water.

Guzzardo, realizing that the passenger was paralyzed and could not escape, jumped into the water and rescued the woman, getting her to safety in a boat.

Two days later, Guzzardo risked his own safety to rescue a man trapped on top of his car in the flood waters.

Guzzardo hopes to attend the United States Service Academy.

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