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CNN sets proclamation of Heroes

HOLLYWOOD, California – The CNN Hero of the Year proclamation will be held at a star-studded gala here on Nov. 19.
One of the finalists is a Filipino, Efren Penaflorida, 28, of Cavite for his work with Dynamic Teen Co. that brought education to street children in the Philippines.
In Manila, the Senate has a pending resolution commending Penaflorida for his outstanding achievement. The CNN broadcast network is set to host a “celebratory” rally on Nov. 16 at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City to show support for Penaflorida.
Penaflorida was chosen from over 9,000 submissions from 100 countries as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes, which spotlights everyday citizens accomplishing extraordinary deeds.
Philippine Ambassador to the US Willy C. Gaa has called on all Filipinos around the world to show support for Penaflorida by casting their vote for him.
Voting will end Nov. 18 at the CNN Heroes site at /www.CNN.com/Heroes through ttp://www.cnn.com/Heroes%20 through Nov. 18.
Hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and taped at the famed Kodak Theatre, CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute will air on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 19, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
For the past 12 years, Penaflorida and his team of teen volunteers taught basic reading and writing to children living on the streets.
Their main tool: A pushcart classroom.
A feature story on the CNN website noted that the DTC created a school setting in unconventional locations such as cemetery and municipal trash dump. The pushcart is stocked with books, pens, tables and chairs and even serves as classroom.
Today, children ranging from aged two to 14 flock to the pushcart every Saturday to learn reading, writing, arithmetic and English from Penaflorida and his trained teen volunteers.
The DTC’s 10,000 members have taught basic reading and writing to 1,700 kids living in the slums.
The CNN cited Peñaflorida’s group for being able to send promising children to formal school – among them a former pickpocket and solvent addict, gang members, street beggars and abandoned children. Some of these former street kids are now young professionals who devote their spare time to DTC as volunteers.
Peñaflorida knew firsthand the adversity faced by these children because he himself was born into a poor family and lived in a shanty near the city dumpsite.
Bullied by gang members as a teenager, he refused to allow his circumstances to define his future. He saw education as the key to a better life and organized his classmates to help the children who roamed the streets of Cavite.

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