“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, now a 28-year-old college graduate, 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,” he said.
“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 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.”
Monday, November 23, 2009
Hero of the year! RP Pushcart Educator
We salute Efren Peñaflorida for winning CNN's Hero of the Year award for starting a “pushcart classroom” in the Philippines to bring education to poor children as an alternative to gang membership. As a child, Peñaflorida picked school over gang life in Cavite City and vowed to create a way for other children to make the same choice. He created a program that brings books to children in slums and on the streets, and the 10,000 members of his Dynamic Teen Co. have brought reading, writing and hygiene to 1,500 youngsters.