For Alec Carlson of Blackfoot, helping his mother comes naturally and it's just what he does; but to his mother, "he is a hero." Now, Alec, just 11 years old, will be recognized as the youngest recipientt of "Idaho's Hometown Hero Medal."
Alec will receive his medal at the fourth annual Idaho's Hometown Hero Medal ceremony on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Stephens Performing Arts Center in Pocatello.
Alec's mother, Angelina Quilimaco, who has been blind since birth, has been raising Alec and his younger brother Tyler (9), on her own since their father died of a massive heart attack a few years ago.
Quilimaco said that she nominated both of her boys for the award; however, just Alec was selected by the committee to receive the medal.
"Both of my boys are heros," she said. "I couldn't get through, day by day, without both of my boys. I will be giving Tyler a special plaque for being my hero as well."
Speaking of Alec, she said, "When we go somewhere, I need to be led and and he always takes my arm and helps me so that I won't hurt myself," Quilimaco said. "He is always so kind and helpful. And he makes me laugh."
Alec, a student at Blackfoot Sixth Grade School, said that he was surprised to learn that his mother had nominated him and that he "actually won an award."
"I always try to help lead my mom, clean the house and help her however I can," he said. "I am proud and excited to be receiving this award."
The Idaho's Hometown Hero awards were established by Pocatello brothers Fahim and Naeem Rahim to recognize Idaho citizens "who exemplify outstanding qualities in their lives while promoting the richness of Idaho and creating a better world by what they're doing today."
For more on this story, turn to our print or e-editions.