He did it, kids! Efren Penaflorida has been named CNN Hero of the Year. He bested nine other finalists from around the world with his efforts at providing education to street children via his Dynamic Teen Company. [firstpara] His idea is simple: Use education to divert the attention of street kids from gang violence. How does he do it? Why, with the humble kariton! He loads up the pushcart with educational materials, and off they go teaching kids how to read and write. So far, DTC has helped over 1,500 kids.
And the world has taken notice. The recognition comes with $100,000, which Efren will use to push further his cause.
CNN's Anderson Cooper announced the Efren's win at a gala event Saturday night, November 21, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood California. The event will be premiered over at CNN on November 27, 10pm.
Looking sputing in a Barong Tagalog, the Hero of the Year gave quite an inspiring speech: "Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be a hero to the next one in need."
So congratulations Efren! You did the country proud.
Before leaving for the US, FHM was on an e-mail frenzy with Efren, where he told us that the biggest challenge he's had to face didn't involve resources or hostility from the kids. "It's the loss of desire to learn and the intense desire to have money," he tells us. You can read the full interview here.