Police give rare award to Boynton Beach teenager for helping to save life of friend

Honored by police for speaking out

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Checking Facebook is usually a fun time to catch up with friends for Joanne Nicholas. But earlier this month, it quickly turned serious.

A couple hours after school, a friend posted that she wanted to take her own life.

"She put a picture of a knife and said since no one was responding she was going to take her own life after dinner," said Joanne Nicholas.
 
Joanne didn't take it as a joke, she called an adult from school for help alerting police.

"She didn't know where the student lived and knew I could access the name and address at school, we jumped into action," said LoriAnn Roderick, who works as a secretary at Boynton Beach High School.

But Joanne didn't stop there, she took on a role that isn't easy. She continued to chat with her friend online, stalling her until police arrived.

"She told me to give her a reason why she shouldn't take her own life and I told her that I was there for her and people do care and want her to be here still," said Joanne Nicholas.

Tuesday Joanne was honored by the Boynton Beach Police Department for her courage in speaking up.

The Citizen Save A Life Award reads: Officers responded and met with girl who was emotionally distressed. Joanne was instrumental in saving her life.

It's a lesson she hopes others won't take lightly.

"If someone needs help whether they're kidding or not, you should act on it. You never know what might happen," said Nicholas.

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