Dec. 12, 2021 from 8 p.m. ET
These are The CNN Top 10 Heroes of 2021 – incredible people who are using their unique skills and experiences to make the world a better place.
1. Jenifer Colpas. 2. Lynda Doughty. 3. David Flink. 4. Dr. Patricia Gordon. 5. Hector Guadalupe. 6. Michele Neff Hernandez. 7. Zannah Mustapha. 8. Shirley Raines. 9. Dr. Ala Stanford. And 10. Made Janur Yasa
On Sunday, December 12, 2021, CNN will honour 10 men and women for making the world a better place. These people according to CNN, are TEN PEOPLE WHO ARE CHANGING THE WORLD TO MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE.
The event on December 12, 2021 will be the 15th Annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute,” hosted by Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa. It will air at starting at 8 p.m. ET.
$10, 000 + $100,000
The 10 men and women were all nominated by the public — CNN audience — and selected by CNN to each receive a $10,000 prize. The winner of the final event on Sunday on December 12, 2021 will receive an additional $100,000 for their cause.
Meanwhile, CNN is appealing to its audience who have CNN to go to their website and vote on who you think should be named CNN Hero of the Year. Voting is now open to determine the CNN Hero of the Year, so be sure to read about each one here and cast your vote before the big reveal in December!
Vote to decide the CNN Hero of the Year 2021! You get 10 votes, every day, to help your favorite Heroes. Vote today, and come back tomorrow for 10 more votes. Vote and again every day through December 7th. Find out who wins live on Sunday, December 12th at 8 pm ET. PS. 10 votes per day. Vote multiple days.
More Details about The Heroes
Her cause: Bringing clean water and power to rural villages in her country. She co-founded Tierra Grata in 2015, a non-profit organization that provides access to clean water, solar-powered lights and electricity along with eco-toilets and showers for remote rural communities throughout Colombia. Her organization currently serve 35 communities and their services have helped improve the quality of life for more than 10,000 people. She changed her career path, returned home, and co-founded Tierra Grata, which means “gratitude to the earth” in Spanish.
“Something inside me (was) saying, ‘You need to do something about it,'” Colpas said.
Her cause: For the past decade, her nonprofit organization, Marine Mammals of Maine, has provided response efforts, assistance and medical care for more than 3,000 marine animals. Her group monitors 2,500 miles of coastline and operates a 24-hour hotline, responding to calls about distressed or deceased marine mammals, and it has federal authorization to provide temporary care for critically ill and injured seals. Data gathered on these animals allows Doughty and her team to monitor trends in diseases and human impact on marine mammal health.
She became a marine biologist and worked for several years with organizations that provided emergency response and rehabilitation for sick and injured marine mammals. She became aware that their livelihood was jeopardized by pollution, habitat destruction and other human-related activity and has dedicated her life to protecting them.When Maine’s seals need help, she gets a call.
“I just remember being so amazed (by them) and wondering what’s happening in their life.” “I knew that I wanted to do something to help these animals,” Doughty said.
His cause: David Flink’s Eye to Eye program pairs middle school children who have a learning difference with a college or high school mentor who also has a learning difference. Eye to Eye’s 18-week program centers on a specific social-emotional learning objective. Each lesson builds on the previous, moving students from self-doubt to empowerment.
He created a unique mentorship program. The organization is in 150 schools nationwide and has more than 1,350 mentees impacting middle school children each week. Eighty percent of Eye to Eye students graduate from college — an impressive rate considering children with learning disabilities are three times more likely to drop out of high school.
Dr. Patricia Gordon
Her cause: Preventing cervical cancer by the thousands and saving women from a preventable diseases. Her non-profit has screened more than 150,000 women and treated more than 8,600 to date. She operates CureCervicalCancer, which delivers screening, training and supplies to clinics around the world. The organization has since worked in 10 countries, including China, Haiti, Guatemala, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Vietnam. Her organization has established 106 sustainable clinics to screen and treat women in remote and underserved areas.
“That there are 8,000 women who are alive and well and able to provide for their families is honestly the most rewarding thing that I could have ever imagined in my life,” “I think I’m the luckiest doctor that ever lived.” Gordon said.
His cause: is about freedom through fitness and giving former prisoners a second chance through his non-profit organization: A Second U Foundation. He helps formerly incarcerated men and women get certified as personal trainers and build careers in the fitness industry so they can support their families. Guadalupe and his team of volunteers offer a free eight-week program for 10-15 students every quarter to prepare for the national certification exam. In addition to study materials and exam fees, the program now also provides each student a free tablet with keyboard, transportation, new clothing, software classes and a $1,300 stipend. Coaches also mentor students, helping with far more than classwork. Once students have passed the exam, Guadalupe helps them get jobs. More than 200 people have graduated from the program since 2016 and only two have reoffended — a recidivism rate of less than 1%.
Michele Neff Hernandez
Her cause: Michele Neff Hernandez created Soaring Spirits in 2008, three years after her husband’s death. Her husband, Phillip went for a bike ride and was hit by a car and killed. Her nonprofit organization connects widows and widowers, allowing them to heal in a community that understands the pain of losing a partner. It has grown to include 70 regional chapters all over the US, as well as pen pals and programs specifically for the LGBTQ community. To date, the organization has reached more than 4 million people worldwide.
“It’s about helping widowed people live life in community with each other, so that someone who has borne witness to their pain also bears witness to their life as they continue making their way forward.” “I didn’t even know what to do with myself,” Neff Hernandez said. “Every single thing about my life changed.” “I thought if I could bring these widows together, what a difference that would make,” Neff Hernandez said.
His cause: Helping displaced children and building peace and building a strong and peaceful future generation. For more than a decade, Zannah Mustapha has devoted his life to providing hope and peace for children in northern Nigeria caught in the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency. His organization has educated more than 2,000 students from both sides of the conflict at the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School. The school offers psychological and social support to help children with trauma. Students, who all live nearby with relatives or family members, are also provided uniforms, books, meals and health services. Over 1,000 students have graduated, and gone on to college or careers. Zannah Mustapha is a peace leader, who envisions a Nigeria where there is no more violence, where education and acceptance for all are encouraged.
“These are children (who are) ravaged by the disturbances that Boko Haram has brought in,” he said. “Children … are not even having this war.” “(When I) see the faces of these children and how these children are dreaming, it gives me the hope that still there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Her goal: to make the homeless feel human, whether that means a haircut, a facial, a hearty meal, or a hug. Before the pandemic, Raines was making 400 meals a week in her one-bedroom apartment kitchen in Long Beach and driving three times a week to downtown LA to feed and bring supplies to people. After the death of her son Raines fell apart. Raines’ twin sister stepped in and urging her to find a purpose for her pain. Raines joined a church group on a feeding mission. For the past six years, Raines and her organization, Beauty 2 the Streetz, have been a mainstay on Los Angeles’ Skid Row, providing food, clothing, hair and makeup services — and most recently health and hygiene items — to thousands of people. She brings hope to Skid Row 06:48. Rain or shine, she sets up “shop” weekly at the corner of 5th and Townes to serve those she calls “Kings” and “Queens.”
“I went to Skid Row, I’m like, ‘Oh, this is where all the broken people are? Oh, I’ve been looking for y’all all my life”. “I never wanted to leave. It’s a place where people have amazing hearts, but nobody can see it because they can’t see the forest for the trees,” she said
Dr. Ala Stanford
A pediatric surgeon with successful private practice, her cause: has been to help and bring Covid-19 testing and vaccines to the underserved minority neighborhoods in Philadelphia that have been devastated by the Corona pandemic. Since 2020, her organization, the Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium, has offered PPE, testing kits, vaccinations and education to more than 75,000 community members. Her group, the Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium, has brought testing and vaccines to more than 75,000 residents of Philly’s minority neighborhoods and confronting the role of race in medicine. A Drexel University research report showed that people in affluent White areas of Philadelphia were being tested six times more frequently than those in poor minority areas.Dr. Ala Stanford She has been working to change Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy among people of color.
“I knew I wanted to be a doctor from the time I was about 8 years old … and I never believed I couldn’t do it.” “That grit that comes from being a poor kid raised in Philadelphia is what has given me the tenacity to press on, no matter what.” “The first day we did a dozen tests. The second time we went out, we did about 150 tests. And the third time … there were 500 people lined up before we started,” she said.
Made Janur Yasa
His cause: is a non-profit organization, a Plastic Exchange Clean-Up Program that allows local villagers in Bali, Indonesia, to exchange plastic trash for rice, a main food staple thereby feeding the families. This barter system benefits the environment by addressing the ongoing problem of plastic pollution on Bali’s beaches, and simultaneously empowers the local people. Villages hold community exchange events once a month in which residents bring in plastic to trade in for rice. The organization has so far helped feed thousands of families and collected nearly 300 tons of plastic for recycling.
“We believe that nature has a soul.” “I saw people in my village start worrying about how they were going to put food on the table,” “This concerned me,” he said.