9-Year-old Hero Named 'Mayor for the Day' After Saving Classmate With the Heimlich Maneuver - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

A third-grader from New Jersey immediately sprang into action to save a classmate who was choking on her lunch and struggling to breathe. The incident occurred last month at the Bowser Elementary School in East Orange when 9-year-old Kori Scott noticed that her best friend, Astah, was choking on a burrito. Astah initially tried to drink water, but Kori knew that that would not help. Instead, she used the Heimlich maneuver to help Astah cough up the food.

“I did it 1-2-3. And food came out,” Kori told News 12 while demonstrating how she performed the Heimlich. She learned the life-saving technique from her parents, who even performed it on her when she, herself, was choking when she was 3 years old.

Because of her swift thinking, which may have saved Astah’s life, Kori was honored by the mayor of East Orange on Thursday with a “Mayor for the Day” proclamation.

“I am honored to stand here today and recognize Kori as one of East Orange’s own hometown heroes,” said East Orange Mayor Ted R. Green at the ceremony. “Kori’s brave actions have already made an incredible impact on our city. Kori learned the Heimlich maneuver from her parents. Her smart instincts and quick actions are characteristics of a true hero, and it fills me with pride to have her here today as a representative of our city and community.”

Kori says she is not only happy that she saved her friend, but she’s also excited about her newfound fame. “I feel happy. I feel that my whole body is full of joy. Now, everybody who sees me—[like] my grandfather—they want my autograph and say I’m a superstar.”

Scott’s mother, Kiana Scott, said she is “overjoyed” by her daughter’s heroic actions. “I’m proud because of the quick thinking; she snapped right into it,” said Kiana, who works as a security guard in the East Orange school district. “Words cannot express how happy and proud I am.”

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Selena Hill

Selena Hill is the Digital Editor at Black Enterprise and an award-winning multi-media journalist.


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