It was an emotional moment for the Silverio family Wednesday afternoon at Bronx Community College.
The college president issued a posthumous associate of science degree in honor of Lucas Silverio.
Two years ago, the 19-year-old died a hero after he tried to save a 3-year-old girl from a raging fire that tore through their high-rise apartment building in Belmont.
The teenager's parents accepted the degree on behalf of their son.
"We lost a son, but we know that we have an angel up in the sky," Lucas' father Victor Silverio said.
"How many young men these days would do what he did? For a 19-year-old, I think that really goes to show the type of individual that he is and we miss him on our campus," Bronx Community College President Thomas Isekenegbe said.
The fire broke out on a Sunday morning in June of 2019.
Silverio and a cousin carried their grandmother down 15 flights of stairs but passed little Yasleen London McDonald on their way to safety.
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The teenager ran back into the smoke-filled stairwells, up 14 flights and grabbed the badly burned 3-year-old.
McDonald did not survive and Silverio died three days later.
"We are gonna be seeing the diploma at home every day, you know what I'm saying? He is always going to be on our mind," uncle Carlos Mendoza said.
Silverio's heartbroken mother Ana Mendoza Silverio says her heart is heavy because you are never prepared to lose a son.
Silverio was in an accelerated study program at Bronx Community College and was close to graduating when he died.
He was studying to be a home health aide and had a fervent desire to help people - a desire displayed heroically in life and tragically in death.
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