Efren Peñaflorida of the Philippines is 2009 CNN Hero of the Year

Efren did it. CNN Hero of the Year for 2009 is none other than Efren Peñaflorida from the Philippines. Efren who started the "Pushcart Classroom" as an alternative for gang membership was recognized by the CNN. A total of almost 2.7 million vote were cast.

Efren will receive additional $100,000 and promised to use the money to continue the good deeds of his Dynamic Teen Company.

"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 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.

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 to 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"

Congratulations to Efren Peñaflorida 

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