Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finally, A Chance to Vote for Someone Who Actually Matters

From Good News Pilipinas:

A 27-year-old Filipino worker who grew up near the slums of Cavite has been named a “CNN Hero” as part of the news network’s program honoring ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary feats around the world.

Efren Peñaflorida Jr., who organized Dynamic Teen Co. as a teenager to bring education to unschooled and neglected street children, was featured on CNN’s Larry King Live last Friday, March 5.

Born to Efren Sr., a tricycle driver, and Lucila Geronimo, a housewife, Peñaflorida grew up near the city’s open dump, where he played and swam near the garbage.

Although he was harassed and threatened by gangs that terrorized his school, Penaflorida realized early on that many less fortunate children didn’t have his opportunity to go to school.

At 16, he recruited three high school friends to go to the slums on Saturdays to teach younger kids. The group, which began as a club to keep students from joining gangs and notorious fraternities that were thriving on campus, has become a 10,000-strong volunteer force that has tutored some 1,500 children from the slums.

Peñaflorida teaches at a private school in Cavite City and still accompanies volunteers to the slums every Saturday.

Peñaflorida is the third of about 32 CNN Heroes to be unveiled this year.

A blue ribbon panel will then select the top 10 CNN Heroes before the public selects the “CNN Hero of the Year” by voting at the CNN Heroes site (

At a year-end gala, CNN will honor the 10 heroes and reveal the “CNN Hero of the Year,” who will receive $100,000.

Learn more about Efren and his amazing work by clicking here.

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