Former McAllen student who lived in shack receives birth certificate

He's the Nikki Rowe student in McAllen who captured our hearts.

"What has life been like since being featured as a Pay it 4Ward $400 recipient?" Action 4's Ryan Wolf asked.

"It's been great," Armando Beltran answered.

Beltran now has a birth certificate and a social security card to call his own.

"Now my life is kind of changing because of the paperwork," he said.

They're two milestones for him since his story of selflessness aired on Pay it 4Ward in May.

He talked back then about his desire to help at the school because it was like a family to him, a home.

"It's because I haven't been with my family for a long time," he said. "So I've always been alone. So this is kind of my family here."

Cynthia Villegas nominated the then senior for the $400 prize for his volunteer work.

"Pay it 4Ward has helped in so many ways," she explained.

She says Armando's story reached the judge who handled his birth certificate request.

He only had a delayed birth certificate while in the foster care system.

As a result, work was difficult to find, according to Beltran.

Library workers took him under their wings.

His story on Action 4 News quickly brought action.

"I think it aired on a Thursday," Cynthia explained. "He was called the next Monday that the birth certificate was being signed to get in."

Once living in a shack, the 19-year-old is now on his way to fulfilling a dream by enlisting in the U.S. Army.

He has hopes to continue his education and to one day be a cop.

"We want to help you attain that goal," Wolf said. "So we have a surprise just for you."

"Another one?" Beltran asked.

Pronto Insurance breaks the news that Armando is about to become the first two-time recipient of the Pay it 4Ward, $400 prize.

"Armando, your story touched everyone and inspired a lot of people," Domingo Reyna said. "We are honored that you are the first 2-time award winner with a Pronto prepaid MasterCard."

"It makes me feel great that people are still giving back," Beltran said. "And even though I will always help others out, there will always be someone to help back me up."

The school's library may hold a lot of memories, but it's Armando's story of sacrifice and selflessness that will truly live on.

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