DA Honors Local Heroes at Inspiring ‘Citizens of Courage’ Awards

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan honored five brave individuals on Monday, April 24, 2023 with the DA’s Citizens of Courage Award during the 33rd annual event, which is held as part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

“These individuals all displayed courage in the face of dangerous and trying circumstances,” DA Stephan said. “By honoring them, we’re also shining a light on the many courageous crime victims our office serves in the pursuit of justice every year, and the importance of supporting victims’ rights – a big part of our mission at the District Attorney’s Office.”

This year, the Citizens of Courage Awards ceremony was held in person, after a three-year hiatus when the awards were held virtually. The five individuals were honored in front of 300 invited dignitaries, elected officials, community leaders and guests. Below are the 2023 Citizens of Courage recipients and links to videos telling their stories:


She came to the aid of a man who was shot outside her home, providing life-saving medical attention, and calling police.


After their innocent son became the victim of deadly gang violence, they started an organization where people affected by violence can get support.


Working as a bus driver in North County, she stopped a man who was harassing a teenage girl on the bus, leading to his arrest, conviction and requirement that he register as a sex offender.


After witnessing a DUI that ultimately left the victim in a wheelchair, he followed the hit-and-run driver and then alerted police to his location, leading to his arrest and conviction.

The DA’s Victim Services Division strives to reduce the trauma, fear and pain experienced by victims, witnesses, and family members affected by crime. The Victim Assistance Program provides comprehensive services to all crime victims. Victim Advocates are focused on providing assistance to victims of violent crimes. In 2022, they assisted 10,699 new crime victims. This assistance included 600 crisis interventions and 13,202 resources and referrals.