Weather Updates

West Aurora student to be honored for heroism on ‘Steve Harvey’ show

Updated: July 7, 2013 12:48PM

AURORA — A West Aurora student who saved the life of a choking student last year will be honored in an episode of the Steve Harvey show that airs Thursday.

Herget Middle School eighth-grader Travon Avery saved fellow eighth-grader Jose Duran by performing the Heimlich maneuver after Jose began choking on an Almond Joy candy bar in class in December 2012. Both students are featured on the episode of the “Steve Harvey Show” that will air at 2 p.m. Thursday on NBC.

Travon’s mother, Aurora resident Crystal Ruffin-Mason, said Harvey surprised Travon with a $10,000 scholarship sponsored by Upromise by Sallie Mae.

Ruffin-Mason said she submitted a Beacon-News story about her son’s middle school rescue to the show and producers called immediately that night. The episode filmed in February, she said.

She said her son never thought doing something like that would receive so much recognition from the community. Receiving the scholarship was a “true blessing,” Ruffin-Mason said.

“Travon was already your typical eighth-grade student doing the right things,” his mother said. “(But receiving the scholarship) has motivated him even more to do good and to do more positive things.”

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.