Efren Peñaflorida, Jr.
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EFREN PEÑAFLORIDA: Power of the People TVC
Efren Peñaflorida's speech at CNN's Hometown Rally
Efren "Kuya Ef" Geronimo Peñaflorida Jr. (born 5 March 1981) is a Filipino educator and social worker. He was named "CNN Hero of the Year" in 2009 for his outstanding advocacy to educate out-of-school Filipino youth through "pushcart classes." He founded the Dynamic Teen Company (DTC) at the age of 16 years old. He now works in a local private school during the week and continues his work with the DTC every Saturday.
Life and education
Efren Peñaflorida was born the middle child of Efren Peñaflorida Sr., a tricycle driver, and Lucila Geronimo, a housewife.<ref name=found>Founder. Dynamic Teen Company. Retrieved on 2009-11-23.</ref> The family started a small noodle business to make ends meet.<ref name=found/> Efren grew up in an urban slum near an open dump site in Cavite City, Cavite, playing amongst garbage and swimming in polluted waters.<ref name=found/> He would often fall victim to neighborhood bullying.<ref name=found/> Peñaflorida was one of World Vision's sponsored children during his early childhood.<ref>Philippines: World Vision congratulates CNN Hero Efren Peñaflorida. World Vision International (2009-11-23). Retrieved on 2009-11-28.</ref>
Peñaflorida completed his elementary and high school education through the help of scholarships and financial assistance, and received several class awards and honors.<ref name=found/> In 2000, he graduated from San Sebastian College–Recoletos de Cavite with a degree in computer technology, receiving the highest honors.<ref name=found/> He pursued a second course at Cavite State University, graduating cum laude in 2006 with a degree in Secondary Education.<ref name=found/>
Teaching and advocacy
In 1997, at 16 years old, Peñaflorida started a youth group in his high school aimed at diverting students' attention away from street gangs, and towards community activism and personal development.<ref name=found/> Joined by other classmates, they named the group "Dynamic Team Company."
The Dynamic Team Company started as a friendship club of around 20 members, with the aim of providing youth awareness projects, talent and self-development activities, and community services.<ref name=aj>Rochelle C. Pangilinan (2009-09-24). Efren Peñaflorida: An ordinary man doing extraordinary things. Asian Journal. Retrieved on 2009-11-28.</ref> They partnered with Club 8586, another community service organization operating in the area.
Peñaflorida's group pioneered the idea of the "pushcart classroom," where pushcarts were stocked with school materials such as books, pens, tables, and chairs, and then used on Saturdays to recreate school settings in unconventional locations such as the cemetery or trash dump.<ref name=aj/>
Today, DTC's "pushcart classroom" also teaches basic reading and writing to street children.  The group also runs a hygiene clinic where children can get a bath and learn how to brush their teeth.
About 10,000 members have helped teach more than 1,500 children. The organization is able to continue its efforts by making and selling crafts and collecting items to recycle.
Peñaflorida was invited to speak at the Asian Marketing Effectives 2013. The conference was held from 8 to 9 May 2013 at Pudong, Shanghai, China.
Peñaflorida was nominated for CNN Heroes by Club 8586, the youth group that financed his elementary and high school education.<ref name=ps>Pinoy named CNN 'Hero of the Year'. Philippine Star (2009-11-23). Retrieved on 2009-11-23.</ref> After sifting through 9,000 nominees from over 100 countries, CNN's Blue Ribbon Panel selected Peñaflorida as one of its 28 heroes of 2009. On October 1, Peñaflorida was named among the ten finalists. On November 22, he was named CNN Hero of the Year for 2009.<ref name=ps/> The award included $100,000 in cash to help him continue his work with the Dynamic Teen Company.<ref name=ps/>
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo conferred on Peñaflorida the Order of Lakandula in a ceremony at Malacañang Palace upon his return to the Philippines.<ref>Arroyo confers Order of Lakandula on CNN Hero of the Year. Inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer (2009-11-27). Retrieved on 2009-11-27.</ref>
- CNN Heroes Voting Site
- Pushcart classes help break gang chain
- CNN Heroes: Efren Peñaflorida
- Efren Peñaflorida, Jr. at Facebook
- Dynamic Teen Company Official Website
- “Efren Peñaflorida Biography”.Efren Peñaflorida.(Accessed on 17 June 2013).
- ^ "Pinoy teacher, a ‘CNN Hero’." BusinessMirror. (Accessed 06 March 2009)
- ^ "Pushcart classes help break gang chain." CNN.com. (Accessed 06 March 2009)
- ^ "Teacher from Cavite picked as ‘CNN Hero’". The Manila Times. (Accessed 06 March 2009)
- ^ "Pushcart Educator Named CNN Hero of the Year". CNN. (Accessed 22 November 2009)
- ^ "Like Filipino elections: Efren Peñaflorida’s rigged “win”". CNN. (Accessed 22 November 2009)
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