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Filipino in Top 10 Finalist for CNN Hero for the Year Award

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Twenty-eight year old Filipino named EFREN PENAFLORIDA was bullied by gangs in high school. Today, he offers Filipino youth an alternative to gang membership through education. For the past 12 years, Peñaflorida and his team of teen volunteers have taught basic reading and writing to children living on the streets. Their main tool: A pushcart classroom. Born into a poor family, he lived in a shanty near the city dump site. But he says he refused to allow his circumstances to define his future.

He created the Dynamic Teen Company to offer his classmates an outlet to lift up themselves and their community. For Peñaflorida, that meant returning to the slums of his childhood to give kids the education he felt they deserved. Since 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.

Click To Vote EFREN PENAFLORIDA as CNN’s Hero

Written by Raffy Pekson II

October 12, 2009 at 3:10 pm