Efren Peñaflorida was named 2009 CNN Hero of the Year. He started the ‘Pushcart Classroom’ (“Kariton Klassroom”) to provide education to poor children and also an alternative to gang membership.
Peñaflorida received the highest number of online votes, and bested nine other contenders from different countries. He received $100,000 to continue his work with his group Dynamic Teen Company, and earlier got $25,000 for being included in the top 10 CNN Heroes.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will honor Peñaflorida the Order of Lakandula, one of the highest honors given by the Republic of the Philippines.
The ceremony was held at The Kodak Theater, best known as the first permanent home of the Academy Awards on Saturday night (Sunday in Manila).
The taped event will be aired on November 26 on CNN.