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Boy Scout honored for saving girl’s life

By Hank Sims, Daily Planet staff
Monday November 19, 2001

Not many Boy Scouts — only about one percent — achieve the organization’s highest rank, that of Eagle Scout. Berkeley’s Troop Six has had an exceptionally distinguished year, as four of its members have advanced into the order of the Eagle. 

But even that accomplishment pales beside the award bestowed on one of Troop Six’s own on Saturday, when William Berkey, 18, was awarded the Boy Scouts of America’s National Heroism Award for saving the life of one of his classmates last year. 

About 150 friends, family members and Scouts filled St. John’s Presbyterian Church on College Avenue for the ceremony, a BSA “National Circle of Honor,” to pay tribute to Berkey, who simultaneously received the award and advanced to Eagle.  

And Ale Braga, who credits Berkey with saving her life when disaster struck on a school field trip, was there to personally thank him and present him with the award. 

Assistant Scoutmaster Michel de Latour — who serves as a lieutenant in the Berkeley Police