DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - In a touching tribute at Western High School, Aden Perry was honored as a heroic teenager who tragically lost his life while attempting to rescue a stranger from a canal. Aden’s mother, Sarah Perry, accepted his diploma on the graduation stage, commemorating his selflessness and bravery.

On Monday evening, Sarah expressed her pride in her son and acknowledged the significance of accepting his diploma on his behalf.

“He always made me proud. He would have been so proud accepting these himself,” she tearfully shared.

Aden’s heroic act occurred in April of 2022 when he courageously jumped into a lake to assist a crash victim in Sunrise. Without hesitation, Aden selflessly dived into the water, exemplifying his unwavering commitment to helping others. Tragically, both Aden and the driver, Venkata Sai Krishnamurthy, did not survive.

“He was an amazing young man and he was always helping other people,” said Aden’s mom. “What he did that night was just a small example of what my son did.”

Remembered as an incredibly intelligent and dedicated individual, Aden Perry’s academic achievements were also acknowledged during the ceremony. He excelled in various subjects, earning academic awards in physics, calculus, and English literature.

Principal Jimmy Arrojo highlighted Aden’s exceptional academic record.

“Aden had taken 14 college-level courses, including seven AP and seven Cambridge classes, and maintained an impressive 5.3 GPA,” he said. “He would have undoubtedly been one of the top students in this graduating class.”

Sarah clutched Aden’s Cambridge medal and donned his graduation cords, cap, and tassel as she expressed her mixed emotions about the closure of her son’s academic journey.

“It kind of closed the chapter on his academic journey,” she said. “Not how I expected it to close, not how it should have closed. There should have been much more on his journey, but unfortunately, this is the way it ended,” she said with a heavy heart.”

Offstage, Sarah has been working tirelessly to honor her hero son’s memory. She has spearheaded the installation of life-preserving rings at multiple sites across South Florida.

She even established the Aden Perry Good Samaritan Scholarship Fund, which has already provided over 100 scholarships to deserving students this year, ensuring that her son’s legacy of kindness and compassion lives on.

Sarah’s message to the audience resonated deeply, emphasizing the importance of helping others in the world today.

“You have to help other people in this world, especially in the way things are now,” she said. “We have to be nice; we have to help each other. It really would make a big difference in this world.”

Aden’s heroic actions and selflessness have garnered significant recognition. He will be remembered as a true hero and has been posthumously awarded the Carnegie Medal, the highest honor for civilian heroism, given throughout the United States and Canada.

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