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Monday, November 23, 2009

Efren Peñaflorida: CNN Hero of the year 2009 is a Filipino

After more than 2.75 million votes casted, Efren Peñaflorida was chosen as the CNN Hero of the year 2009, and he is proud to be a Filipino. Efren, at the age of 16 started a "pushcart classroom" in the Philippines to bring education to poor children as an alternative to gang membership.

As of 1997, an estimated 10,000 members have helped teach more than 1,500 children living in the slums. The organization supports its efforts by making and selling crafts and collecting items to recycle.

"Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry," Peñaflorida said upon accepting the honor. "Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need.

"So to each and every person inside in this theater and for those who are watching at home, the hero in you is waiting to be unleashed. Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve. As I always tell to my co-volunteers ... you are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be."

The gala event, taped before an audience of 3,000 at the Kodak Theater, premieres on Thanksgiving, November 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the global networks of CNN. The broadcast, which honors the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2009, features performances by Grammy Award-winning artist Carrie Underwood, R&B crooner Maxwell and British pop sensation Leona Lewis.

Peñaflorida who will receive $100,000 vows to continue his work with the Dynamic Teen Company, while each of the top 10 Heroes receives $25,000.

As a fellow Filipino, I am so happy that Efren made it as I am really expecting him to win. I know he deserve it, and he can be able to reach out to more children who are in need.

Related posts:
Vote Efren Peñaflorida Jr for the 1st Filipino CNN Hero

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