I think we appreciate heroism most if we have a tiny spark of it ourselves, which might be fanned into a flame if the wind of opportunity arose.
So how do we recognise the heroes and heroines of today? First, by absolute independence of mind, which springs from the ability to think everything through for yourself, and to treat whatever is the current consensus on any issue with scepticism.
Second, having made up your mind independently, to act - resolutely and consistently. Third, to ignore or reject everything the media throw at you, provided you remain convinced you are doing right. Finally, to act with personal courage at all times, regardless of the consequences to yourself.
All history teaches, and certainly all my personal experience confirms, that there is no substitute for courage. It is the noblest and best of all qualities, and the one indispensable element in heroism in all its different manifestations.
These are just the things that schools try to most suppress.
Independent thinking is totally antithetical to schooling, I saw that so often. I was learning computer programming in high school, BASIC on an Apple ][e and my friend was also very good at it but he was more experimental, if the teacher couldn't understand what he was doing he failed even if it worked fine. I had learned long before then that to get good grades you need to follow what the teacher wants to see.
As for the rest it comes down to, "But what about their socialization?" Down rock the boat and you'll be fine.