RP pushcart educator CNN hero of the year

Peñaflorida tops network’s online voting

LOS ANGELES—A Filipino street educator has been named the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year for starting a “pushcart classroom” in the Philippines to bring education to poor children as an alternative to gang membership.

The selection of Efren Peñaflorida was revealed on Saturday night by CNN’s Anderson Cooper at the conclusion of the third-annual “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

The gala event, taped before an audience of 3,000, premieres on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on the global networks of CNN.

As a child, Peñaflorida picked school over gang life in Cavite City and vowed to create a way for other children to make the same choice.

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