UNDATED -- A St. Cloud woman is one of 18 civilians receiving the Carnegie Medal, North America's highest honor for civilian heroism.

On July 19th, 2020 21-year-old Marena Kouba was on the shore of Lake Superior near Marquette, Michigan when she noticed a man and two children struggling in deep water. Kouba, who is on the St. Cloud State University swim team, swam several hundred feet to reach 37-year-old Eric Benac and told him to hold on to her. She then swam to the children who were 10 and 11 years old and told them to hold on to her as well. With all three people holding one arm, Kouba swam toward shore until other people could swim out about 100 feet to help them.

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The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who enter extreme danger while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

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