Marcos Ugarte, 15, earns national recognition for rescuing his neighbor from burning house last year

The Troutdale teen who rescued his 8-year-old neighbor from the second story of a burning house last fall has been named one of the final 23 Citizen Service Before Self honorees.

Recognized through the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, Marcos Ugarte will move on to a second round of judging by Medal of Honor recipients.

The four final honorees will be announced Monday, March 11, and awarded at a ceremony on National Medal of Honor Day — Monday, March 25, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

by: FILE PHOTO - 'I knew that if I messed up, it'd be on me,' Marcos Ugarte said in an interview with The Outlook last fall. 'I couldnt mess up.' Marcos and his father, Eduardo, worked together to save a neighbor boy from the second story of his burning house Sept. 24, 2012.

“It’s an honor just to be nominated,” said Marcos, a 15-year-old Gresham High School student. “These are people who have done better things than I’ve done.”

But Marcos has received numerous accolades the past six months for his act of hometown heroism.

His first month of high school, Marcos made an appearance on “Good Morning America” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” touted as a hero after the Sept. 24 rescue.

Along with VIP tickets to see his favorite football team, the Oregon Ducks, Marcos received a $10,000 for college savings from Ellen. Later, he was honored by the Troutdale City Council with a heroism award.

Along with the kuddos, Marcos has formed new career ambitions of becoming a firefighter or joining the Army.

“It’s been a really humbling experience," Marcos, said. "I'm very thankful for the nomination."

Finalists for the Citizen Service Before Self honor are from 13 states and include three minors.

Ranging in age from 6-91, the finalists' heroic acts took many forms, including daring water rescues, fire rescues, a lifesaving organ transplant and a foiled kidnapping.

Three of the honorees were New York residents who assisted in Hurricane Sandy rescues and relief.

Nominations for heroes surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December will be handled separately later this year.

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