Efren Peñaflorida grew up in a Filipino slum near the city dump, but vowed to better his life through education. In 1999, while in high school, he recruited friends to reach out to slum kids as an alternative to gang membership, always rampant on-campus.
They began a feeding project for the children who scavenge for left-overs and spoiled food in the dump site. They supported their effort by selling old newspapers, bottles, and recycled products.
Today, the teens cart a portable schoolroom down the road to reach the 1,500 labor-exploited and neglected street children, teaching them English, math and hygiene.
Efren’s Dynamic Teen Company has 10,000 members.
Watch the first hero story below, featuring Efren in three videos, or read the full report at CNN Heroes.
Take a firsthand look at the Philippine slums where CNN Hero Efren Peñaflorida played as a child.
One Filipino teen describes his drug use at an early age and the life-changing day when he met CNN Hero Efren Peñaflorida.