J.P. Taravella Student Honored by Coral Springs Commission For Helping Elderly Woman

Pedro Chavez, Ana Chavez, Asst. Principal Debra Thompson, Joshua Chavez and Vice Mayor Joy Carter.

By: Sharon Aron Baron

A J.P. Taravella High School student was honored for his heroic efforts in escorting an elderly woman across a busy highway and staying by her side assisting her while she renewed her passport.

Honored by the Coral Springs city commission in December, Joshua Chavez, 17, was riding on a bus when he saw an elderly female exit and attempt to cross a busy roadway outside of a crosswalk. Fearing for her safety, he exited the bus before his own stop to help her.

He learned from the woman that she was trying to renew her passport at City Hall in the Mall at Coral Square Mall and not only escorted her safely across the busy roadway, but brought her inside and assisted her in filling out the application.

Unfortunately, the senior citizen, who was originally from Czechoslovakia, had a language barrier and was suffering from cognitive delays. He remained with her for four hours and then escorted her back to the bus stop, waiting with her until she was safely on the bus back to Fort Lauderdale. 

After explaining what he had experienced to his grandmother, he realized she may have suffered from dementia and contacted the Fort Lauderdale Police Department to provide a welfare check on the woman.

Employees at City Hall in the Mall who witnessed Joshua’s help, brought it to the attention of the city commission and school administration at J.P. Taravella so that he could be properly recognized for his selfless acts. 

During the recognition, Joshua’s parents Pedro and Ana, who were in audience said, “We expect nothing less from Joshua. He is always willing to assist others. We are just so proud of him.” 

J.P. Taravella Assistant Principal Debra Johnson, who was also in attendance, offered her heartfelt appreciation of Joshua and his selflessness.  

Joshua, who graduates this June, is looking forward to attending college to pursue a degree in design and social entrepreneurship. His hope is to be accepted to Parsons School of Design in NYC.