MIPY 2009 Top of Slide

Most Inspiring Nominees of 2009

Kaleb Eulls

Kaleb Eulls

Selfless Student Who Saved Lives

When Kaleb Eulls, 18, saw the girl waving the gun around the school bus, he didn't stop to think. He went into action.

As one of the best high school quarterbacks and defensive ends in Mississippi, Kaleb's years of athletic training kicked in and he tackled the girl, knocking the .38 caliber semi-automatic out of her hands and allowing the 20 other children on the bus to escape unharmed.

Kaleb, 18, is nominated as one of Beliefnet's Most Inspiring People of the Year for having the courage and clear-headedness to think of others before himself.

"I just tried to catch her attention, tried to get her to point the gun directly at me," Kaleb told reporters. "I just tried to calm her down and get the gun away from her and she refused. So I just tried to get her attention, and as she blinked for a second, I just lunged at her."

If he had not reacted so selflessly and quickly, there might have been a bloodbath. The gun had five rounds of ammunition in it, and the girl, upset over being bullied, was distraught and threatened every child, ages 5 to 18, on the bus.

"He made the absolutely right call," said Yazoo County Sheriff Thomas Vaughan. "If it had not been for what he had done on that bus, there would be a lot of sad families today."

His younger sisters were among the children on the bus.

“He made the statement to one of my deputies that if she was going to shoot anyone, he would rather she shoot him,” Vaughan said. “Watching him do that and him doing such a heroic act and not even caring about his own safety, that’s something you don’t see every day.”

All Nominee Top
 

Captain Sully
Capt. "Sully"
Sullenberger

Hero of the Hudson

 

Danny Cottrell
Danny Cottrell

Recession Angel

  Kaleb Eulls

Kaleb Eulls
Football Star Saves Lives

 

Zach Bonner
Zach Bonner

Helps Homeless Kids

  Jill and Kevin

Jill & Kevin Wedding
Wedding Dance for Donations

 

Jorge Munoz
Jorge Munoz

Feeding the Hungry

 

Griffeth-Illingworth
Griffeth &
Illingworth

Do-Gooder Officers

 

Paul Levy
Paul Levy

CEO Who Saved Jobs

 

Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox

Devoted Optimist

  Iranian Protestors

Iranian Protesters
Standing Up for Freedom

All Nominee Bottom
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Meet the Winner: Zach Bonner
  • zach bonner most inspiring person

    Zach in Action

    Photos and audio interview with an extraordinary boy making a difference in other children's lives.

  • Zach Bonner

    Read the Interview

    Our winner shares what motivates him, what he wants to be when he grows up, and more.

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