Saturday, March 07, 2009

Filipino becomes CNN Heroes nominee

I just came across the story of Efren Peñaflorida and his work with the Dynamic Teen Company (DTC) that got him nominated for CNN's Heroes.

According to the article on
The Dynamic Teen Company (DTC) aims to uplift the lives of underprivileged children younger than themselves through education. Armed with only a pushcart full of books and other educational materials, DTC brings the classroom to children and educate in slum areas, dumpsites and even in the cemetery.

Formed in 1997 in Cavite by Efren Peñaflorida, its mission then was to keep the youth away from trouble and vices.
CNN found out about Penaflorida through Youtube:
DTC’s good deeds were noticed. In fact, the group won the Gawad Geny Lopez Bayaning Pilipino award in 2007 for its mission of educating children through its mobile classrooms in depressed areas, cemeteries and even in dumpsites in Cavite.

A year and a half later, it’s their founder's turn to be nominated as the first Filipino to be included in the international search, “CNN Heroes”. According to CNN’s website, CNN Heroes is a search for “people driven to exceptional achievement in service to others.”

Like Charice Pempengco and Arnel Pineda, CNN discovered DTC’s story through YouTube.

Last January, CNN, with award-winning producer Tim Shwartz visited the Philippines to do a feature on DTC and Peñaflorida.

Shwartz reportedly commented, “I knew your story was good. But now, I think it’s great.”

Peñaflorida will be featured on CNN’s Larry King Live Friday at 6 p.m. He was already interviewed by King Thursday morning via satellite with the help of ABS-CBN.

“Di ako makapaniwala na makapasok sa isang award giving-body na nagre-recognize sa mga kagaya ng mga batang nasa likod nito ngayon. Actually, ang mga totoong heroes dito ngayon itong mga teenager na walang kapaguran na tumutulong sa akin. Talagang collective effort ito sa gusto naming mangyari na maraming kaming matulungan,” he said.

According to Peñaflorida, DTC’s work is simple, and this can be done by other youth regardless of their economic background.

Through DTC, Peñaflorida hopes to inspire the youth and other organizations to be heroes by doing something good for the country. 

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