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CNN Live Event/Special

16th Annual CNN Heroes, An All-Star Tribute. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired December 11, 2022 - 23:00   ET



KELLY RIPA, CO-HOST: All right. Now let's meet our final Young Wonder.

ANDERSON COOPER, CO-HOST: In an effort to address global climate change, reduce the use of fossil fuels, we're leaning more and more on renewables, which means a greater need for batteries, but only 5 percent of lithium batteries are recycled.

RIPA: To tell us how our next Young Wonder is on a mission to change those numbers, please welcome a proud supporter of Children's Village and one of the stars of "FBI," Jeremy Sisto.

JEREMY SISTO, ACTOR: Thank you. So, in 2022, which is the year we are in, it takes a courageous kind of parent to advise their kid, or kids, to watch the news so they know what's going on in the world. And at the heart of that guidance is to encourage curiosity. So, when he was 10 Sri Nihal Tammana turned on the TV and he saw a story about a waste disposal plant on fire. He wanted to know why.

Well, a lithium ion battery that had been thrown out instead of recycled exploded. So Nihal began asking questions and learned that billions and billions of batteries are thrown away each year, hurting the environment and people. So he started collecting batteries in his New Jersey community, got other young volunteers involved, and his non-profit, Recycle My Battery, was born, and it has not stopped growing.

Now all this work was possible because this now 13-year-old was curious. When we asked questions, when we seek answers, we can make our one and only blue planet a better place.


SRI NIHAL TAMMANA, RECYCLE MY BATTERY: This Mother Earth has given us so many things, we have to do something nice back as well. Three billion batteries are being thrown away each year in the United States and 15 billion batteries are being thrown away worldwide. Batteries contain many toxic chemicals. These chemical can leak out of the battery and they can cause contamination of the water and soil.

Recycle My Battery is a non-profit organization to provide free battery bins to people and educate everybody about the importance of recycling used batteries. People call me Battery Boy. Whoa, a 40-volt battery? We have placed more than 400-plus battery recycling bins all around the nation. We place the bins in schools, libraries, offices, places like the YMCA, et cetera.

There are so many cell phones in here.

If the battery bin is full, we do the inspection so they don't catch fire.

A lot of batteries today.

At the recycling facility, chemicals are then extracted from the battery safely, and then they use new batteries or other items. So today I'm going to be talking to you guys about why it's important to recycle batteries properly.

Education is the key. Kids are our future. We go to schools and talk to them.

I want all you guys to start your own initiatives and do something to help make a change.

We have kids from all around the country and all around the world helping us out.

Thank you so much for your kind donation, yes.

This year's Diwali event, we basically set up our own booth, and we were able to educate lots of people.

Make sure to bring it and recycle it properly for a better tomorrow.

Our organization has recycled over 200,000 plus batteries in the last three years. I want to protect the environment. I want to educate everybody on earth and make sure that zero batteries end up in landfills.

Hope to see you in Recycle My Battery.

I want to continue working so we can make an even bigger impact.


COOPER: Young Wonder, Sri Nihal Tammana, bravo.

RIPA: Bravo is right. Congratulations. It's a wonderful thing.


COOPER: To learn more about Nihal's story and both of our Young Wonders, please go to and help them continue their work.

RIPA: And don't forget to tell us what you think about Sri's work and all of our honorees by using #CNNheroes.

COOPER: Congratulations.

RIPA: Congratulations. ANNOUNCER: Next on CNN HEROES, Simu Liu, from "Shang-Chi and the

Legend of the Ten Rings," and witness a heartwarming reunion you won't want to miss.



COOPER: And we are back with CNN HEROES. Tonight there are almost 30 million people around the world who are refugees.

RIPA: Here to share with us how our next hero works to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers have what they need to begin again. Please welcome the star of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," and a champion of Culture City, Simu Liu.


SIMU LIU, PRESENTER: There is an Ethiopian proverb that goes like this, give to your neighbors what you would want for yourself. Meymuna Hussein-Cattan lives by these words every single day in Southern California. At 3 years old, she and her Ethiopian family fled a refugee camp in Somalia for America. And she encountered every kind of anti-discrimination you can possibly imagine.

But that proverb pushed her toward a life of generosity. She and her mother co-founded the Tiyya Foundation, which connects refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers to critical services and a supportive community. When visiting new families, they often fed Meymuna with pride filled dishes from their homelands. This gave her a creative idea to support her foundation by opening a restaurant with the displaced could come out of the shadows, showcase their favorite dishes from home, and be celebrated.

Flavors From Afar has been named one of Los Angeles' 100 best. I know I've already got my reservation. Through all her work, Meymuna shows us something beautiful, simple, and true, that we need one another in order to thrive.


MEYMUNA HUSSEIN-CATTAN, TIYYA FOUNDATION: For all immigrants, food is a sense of self-preservation.

All right, you guys.

It really instills a sense of rootedness, feeling connected to your cultural upbringing. It's beautiful. My family were refugees from Ethiopia. When we came to the U.S., I was three and a half. There was a lot of beauty, but at the same time, there were shadows. Antiblackness, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim. From a very young age, I was aware that I'm different.

Oh, this is your first event. Oh. I thought so. Can I borrow some of yours?

But my mom and I wanted to help make the path easier for other families.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I came to the United States, I start a new life from the zero.


In Afghanistan, I worked very good position. But when I came here, I started with a low level job. A gas station. Housing problem, no transportation. The language problem for my wife.

HUSSEIN-CATTAN: He has such good rapport with the families and stuff. When I met Mahmoud and his wife (INAUDIBLE), they had nothing. Everybody was still sleeping on the floor. We provided basic necessities, we assigned them to have mentors. And then it's just been this journey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They helped me how to go to college, find a better job, integrate into American society. Within six months, my wife learned English.

HUSSEIN-CATTAN: Do you know what color you want?


HUSSEIN-CATTAN: You want blue?

Starting over in a brand new country, it is a lonely journey. We want them to know that they're not alone. We want to create the sense of community.

At my restaurant, we rotate our cuisine every month, giving home- trained chefs, who all share some form of displacement an opportunity to shine. And 40 percent of the proceeds go back to the non-profit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My mom's first thing is to teach me the Kabuli Pulao, because everyone like.

HUSSEIN-CATTAN: We're really shifting how refugees are viewed. Here they are the star.

Please give a round of applause to Chef Orbal (PH).


HUSSEIN-CATTAN: All refugees are alchemists. They're able to start their lives over, build their community, preserve their cultures, and transform a sense of loss into just something beautiful.



LIU: Please join me in honoring CNN Hero, Meymuna Hussein-Cattan.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) HUSSEIN-CATTAN: I am here today because other people cared. Out of gratitude, I wanted to make life easier for others. My vision was to help refugees, but I found so much healing, as I was serving displaced people. Everyone who gets involved is also speaking to me. I realize the work that we do at Tiyya creates a sense of home for all of us. By supporting our work, you are transforming huge global conflicts into tangible human connections. Thank you.


COOPER: Throughout our history, America has always been a destination for those fleeing persecution and conflict. In 1999, two sisters fled the former Yugoslavia to find safety from conflict and gotten on a plane to the U.S. with a little more than the clothes they were wearing.

RIPA: They were headed to the Midwest to find their brother in college. On their fight from Amsterdam to Minnesota, something extraordinary happened.


COOPER (voice-over): Ayda Zugay and Vanja Contino were so young, knew little English. They were nervous and scared. This was their flight to freedom. On the plane, a woman, a total stranger, seated next to them, handed the sisters an envelope, making them promise not to open it until they were off the plane. A note on the envelope read, "To the girls of Yugoslavia, I'm so sorry that the bombing of your country has caused your family any problems. I hope your stay in America will be a safe and happy one for you. Welcome to America. Please use this to help you here. A friend from the plane, Tracy."

Inside the envelope they were surprised to find a pair of dangly earrings and $100 in cash. That money helped feed the sisters for an entire summer while they scrape by, staying with their brother. And Tracy's message of welcome meant so much to them as they built their new lives. But for nearly a decade, the sisters tried to find Tracy, scouring the internet, using social media, following every clue. Their improbable search eventually became a story on the news.

AYDA ZUGAY, FLED YUGOSLAVIA: I was wondering if you could help me find Tracy.

COOPER: And this spring in a flurry of tweets, messages, and calls --


COOPER: Ayda, Vanja and Tracy connected for the first time in 23 years.

ZUGAY: I was so inspired by what you did that day.

VANJA CONTINO, FLED YUGOSLAVIA: It impacted us so much.

PECK: I'm just overwhelmed with joy and love. And my heart is so full for you girls. I'm just so thankful that we were brought together again.




RIPA: Amazing story. This weekend is the first time they have been together in the same place since that incredible plane ride.

COOPER: Please join us in welcoming sisters Ayda Zugay, Vanja Contino and their hero, Tracy Peck.


ANNOUNCER: Still to come, Zoey Deutch and Justin Theroux, with his rescue dog, Kuma.



RIPA: Welcome back. You know that Subaru is matching all of your donations to our CNN HEROES. So, make sure that you go to, click on that donate button. Do it now, and make sure you support our incredible honorees. Now, guess what?


RIPA: It's Kuma time. Kuma time.


RIPA: More awkward than we thought it would be.

COOPER: Earlier -- I said I didn't want to do that. As we said earlier --


COOPER: Really I begged not to do that.

RIPA: I thought it looked cool in my mind.

COOPER: It didn't look cool at all.

RIPA: I'm sorry.

COOPER: Yes. As we said earlier, Kuma used to be one of the nearly 3.1 million dogs in our shelters, many are seniors who were there because they have older dog parents have experienced debilitating medical conditions or have passed away.

RIPA: Our next hero decided to do something about both of these unmet needs. Here to tell her story is a proud supporter of Austin Pets Alive, and one of the stars of the "White House Plumbers," Justin Theroux and his rescue dog, Kuma.


RIPA: Hi, Kuma. Kuma.

JUSTIN THEROUX, PRESENTER: Who is that? Stand right there. Sit. Kuma, sit. Good girl. I know. Are you ready? You want to go see some people? Not there. We'll go out right after this.

One of the most powerful things we can do is fulfill a promise made to someone who is dying. After struggling with a long illness, an elderly woman named Alice needed help walking her beloved dog, Savanna.

Carie Broecker did that for years until Alice was given two weeks left to live. Alice worried about what would happen to the dog who had brought her so much purpose, joy and companionship. Carie leaned into her and told her that she would find Savanna a good home. That promise gave Alice peace of mind in her final days and it gave Carie her life's work. Realizing the desperate need of elderly dog owners, Carie cofounded Peace of Mind Rescue.

Since 2009, they've helped nearly 2,000 senior citizens continue to care for their Savannas, their Sports, and their Daisies, and rescued more than 3,000 senior dogs from shelters. For all creatures great and small, to reach that powerful point in life when there's more gray hairs, wrinkles, and achy joints is a true gift. To promise others that this experience with dignity and grace take profound love.


CARIE BROECKER, PEACE OF MIND RESCUE: Ready for your walk? Come on, pumpkin.

We really wanted to focus on helping to keep senior dogs and senior people together as long as possible.

Let's go see your mama. There's your mama.

A lot of the senior citizens who contact us tell us that the dog is the reason they're still alive.

Such a good girl.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pine is a guide dog because I am visually impaired. Unfortunately, I had a stroke. Thinking of taking Pine out it would have been quite impossible. And a friend told me about Peace of Mind. And now I have dog walkers every single day that come and walk her for at least an hour. She's just been everything to me. She's just a wonderful, wonderful friend.


Senior dogs are typically the ones who are not as adoptable at the shelters.

Yes, definitely a Peace of Mind dog. Hi, baby.

If we think this is a dog that we can help, they go straight to our vet clinic.

Brave little girl.

And then we put them up for adoption.

Hi. Oh, he is adorable. He looks really happy already.

It just blows us away over and over again how somebody will fall in love with a silly-looking, blind chihuahua with a tongue hanging out and all kinds of medical issues. We also take in dogs from senior people who can no longer care for them.

I will foster her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Abby is my dad's dog. Both my parents had some medical needs, and they could not take care of their animals anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His mom, she was really concerned that they didn't just end up getting put down. That was one of the things that seemed to be holding her back from going and getting medical attention. It was a huge relief to be able to call Peace of Mind. I'm going to start to cry. But it was such a relief to get that phone call. Abby's going to have such a great future.

BROECKER: You're a Peace of Mind dog now.

In our society, sometimes the elderly, whether that is senior people or senior dogs, get ignored, and so we really want to cherish all of life.


What a beautiful world this would be if the seniors were able to move through that phase of their life in dignity.



THEROUX: Please join me and Kuma in honoring Carie Broecker, our hero.


BROECKER: For many older adults, a dog is often their best friend, their comfort, and their reason for getting up every morning. Our vision is to model respect for all seniors, including dogs left behind. With the recent national attention, we have been contacted by hundreds of people throughout the country asking if we have services in their area. With your continued support, we can help bring Peace of Mind to more seniors in need. Thank you so much.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) COOPER: According to the United States Department of Agriculture, about 19 million Americans live in a food desert and lack good nutrition, especially fresh produce.

RIPA: Our next hero works to address Metro Atlanta's food desert and feed the nearly one in eight Georgians who face hunger. To tell his story, please welcome producer and star of the new holiday film, "Something from Tiffany's," Zoey Deutch.


ZOEY DEUTCH, PRESENTER: He takes a seed and he plants it in the dirt. Then he does it again in row afro after row after row. Bobby Wilson waters them, cares for them and turns them into produce to nurture his neighbors. Bobby has been a farmer all his life. For two decades he taught urban gardening with the University of Georgia. And for him, there was no greater joy in the world than going to churches, community gardens, and senior living facilities, teaching people how to grow their own healthy food.

And when retirement came calling, it was no surprise to all who know him that he took some of his retirement money, bought five acres, and built a green oasis to help the poor, hungry, and eager to learn. The Metro Atlanta Urban Farm has a fresh produce market, an education center, fights for equity for black farmers, and during the pandemic, it fed 25,000 families.


DEUTCH: One man, one seed, one simple, glorious act that plows through the hardship and cultivates love.


BOBBY WILSON, METRO ATLANTA URBAN FARM: I think the bible mandates us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and to provide shelter. Now, I can't do all three of those. But one thing that I can do, I can make sure that people learn how to feed themselves.

And till it back into the soil.

My main goal and objective is to make sure that marginalized and underserved communities have access to locally grown food that's free of chemicals.

This is our secret right here, black gold. With the price of food right now, you can probably grow about $2500 worth of food per year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It smells so sweet.

WILSON: We work with beginning farmers.

OK. You can help put those in.

We've got to get our young people excited about agriculture. Many of our kids have not seen real chickens before.

Can you see me now?

We opened up our doors to say, come in. Pick your own greens, tomatoes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was down in the (INAUDIBLE). I got 13 children and a wife, and I came to the farm. My wife, she said, where you getting all this? I said, I met a man. I met a man that had a heart like Jesus. And he said, if I can help you, I'm going to help you.

WILSON: We look out for the people in our community. Our community can rid itself of diseases and high blood pressure, diabetes, that we are challenged with. We use a lot of warm (INAUDIBLE). But at the end of the day, we want to impact farmers of color so their grandchildren will want to continue to work that land to make a difference.


We are more than just a farm. We are about justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. I want my grandchildren to have it better than what I have it today. This has been an uphill journey. I'm the first one to graduate from college in my family.

This is black beauty right here.

I want folks to see farming in a totally different light. We are changing the dynamics of the way people think about food, use food.


WILSON: This work is changing people's lives, changing society as a whole.



DEUTCH: Please join me in honoring CNN Hero, Bobby Wilson.


WILSON: This is amazing. Every day, I fight to keep this farm running. As CNN HERO, we are fulfilling our individual roles in society for collective impact and making a difference in the communities that have been left out of the main stream of society. The power of us coming together to cocreate new pathways, to access, to inclusion and hope, can continue with your support. So, come on, everybody. Let's do this.


ANNOUNCER: Next, "Wakanda Forever's" anti-hero honors a real-life hero, and we'll reveal the 2022 CNN Hero of the Year.



RIPA: We are back with CNN HEROES. You know, one of the easiest ways that we can all be a hero is by being an organ donor. More than 100,000 people in the United States are waiting on long waiting lists.

COOPER: Each year, more than 6,000 living donors, about 40 percent of all transplants performed, step forward to save the lives of loved ones and even strangers. This year, that very need touched the CNN family, when one of our own went in search of a kidney.


RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The sun is up here in Tel Aviv.

COOPER (voice-over): Richard Roth has dedicated his life to CNN for the last 42 years, never thinking that one day he'd have to ask his colleagues to help save his life.

ROTH: Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.

COOPER: In an e-mail he sent in September 2021, Richard shared that he was in desperate need of a kidney. The one he'd received 23 years ago was failing, and if he didn't find a donor soon, he would die.

SAMIRA JAFARI, KIDNEY DONOR: It's been one day since I got that confirmed surgery date, which makes it all really real.

COOPER: One of our colleagues, Samira Jafari, selflessly raised her hand to donate her kidney. She never met Richard in person, but the mother of two felt she could help.

JAFARI: What did we decide to name my kidney?


JAFARI: Kelvin. You want to say good-bye to Kelvin?


COOPER: In April of this year, the transplant took place at Yale Medical Center, where the two finally met for the first time in the recovery room. While Richard recovered, he sent another e-mail to the company, letting us know how things went. He started it with a question, how do you thank someone who gets you off dialysis and saves your life?



COOPER: Please welcome Richard Roth and his hero, Samira Jafari.


RIPA: Oh, that's amazing. In 2021, Philadelphia had 562 homicides, its highest number in history. But our next hero's neighborhood, those numbers are down dramatically by 65 percent.

COOPER: Here to tell us his story is a champion for Cielo and one of the stars of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." They wanted me to say a costar because I'm technically -- I show up in the movie for like 10 seconds playing myself. But I couldn't say costar because that's maybe ridiculous.

RIPA: That totally counts. That counts.

COOPER: I know. I'm not --

RIPA: You costarred.

COOPER: No, I did not costar. Anyway, one of the stars of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," which is a great movie, Tenoch Huerta.

TENOCH HUERTA, PRESENTER: When you grow up in South Philly, some people believe you need to play a dangerous game to survive.


Tyrique Glasgow knew it could be deadly. When he was eight, his uncle was gunned down. At 15, he was dealing drugs. He was shot 11 times. And in 2006, he landed in prison. In that cold, concrete cell, he had time to think and summon the will to stop playing that deadly game. He did the programs, made it home, and found strength helping a young boy form a flag football team that lead to supporting dance teams for girls and soon after he launched the Young Chances Foundation, offering after-school and summer programs for kids.

Two years ago, he opened a center that provides the whole community with free meals, clothes, and help connecting people to addiction and mental health services, GED classes, and more. Tyrique went through hell and brought hope back to his block. And now he moves with his head held high, showing everyone that they possess the power to shape their lives in love and peace, and build a neighborhood as strong and as powerful as the (INAUDIBLE) that beckons them.


TYRIQUE GLASGOW, YOUNG CHANCES FOUNDATION: Living in a community where balance is consistent, people see their friends and family die. You're going to do the things that you believe help you survive. At around 14 or 15, I got into street fight. When you run a block you're the one who people know. It's a dangerous life, but it's a normal life.

Going to jail really woke me up. My community was going to follow me for the negative stuff, I said, let me see if they're going to follow me for something positive. I don't want parents or people to be in a position where they can't help the person that they love.

All right. You can grab what you want.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Make yourself at home.

GLASGOW: The kids really gave me a purpose. If you need something, just ask, all right?

Our community engagement center used to be a community drug house. Now it's a safe place for our children.

You're with everybody now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With the rate of crime, I'm afraid to send my children outside to play. So when they can come here, I'm more comfortable.

GLASGOW: We do summer camp, we do the after-school program, arts and crafts, whatever the kids need.

What's your favorite color? Blue?




GLASGOW: All right. So let's try to make a red cake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They love it. They ask to come here every day.

GLASGOW: We have to do some teamwork here. Who wants to be on this team real quick?


GLASGOW: They're like sponges, so I try to make sure that the things they soak up is positive. If we can help a child, we can also help the parent, the grandparent, the neighbor. We try to (INAUDIBLE) community hub. You can buy clothing, food, vegetables, hot meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

One shrimp, one chicken.

Once we get them in the door, we can help them with utility assistance, GED classes, mental health resources. It's a gateway.

What you need?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need some things if you got it.

GLASGOW: The same ones we're giving negative stuff to now we can give positive resources. And when your quality of life is up, the crime goes down.

My relationship with the Philadelphia Police Department is cool. Seeing the officers in a different light.

That's what she's there for.

It builds trust, and it builds confidence. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would you like to sit in the car? Yes? There

you go.

GLASGOW: Maybe they can see that all cops aren't bad.

This is where I sold drugs. But now the shootings are down and the hope is up. It's really about your heart, what you want to do. We're trying to create a safe haven for the whole neighborhood.



HUERTA: It is my honor to present CNN Hero, Tyrique Glasgow.


GLASGOW: God is good, man. Always remember your life's purpose will win if done with a pure heart.


There are many dream chasers like me with a journey from poverty with no guidance in every city. Let's start working together today so that our tomorrow has a young chance. You keep what you have by giving it away, so always give the blessings you want to receive with brotherly love and sisterly affection. Thank you.


RIPA: All right. Do not go away. We have more to come.

COOPER: That's right. Coming up next, a powerful performance by Sofia Carson with legendary song writer, Diane Warren.

RIPA: And the moment you've all been waiting for. We will announce our 2022 CNN Hero of the Year. So stick around. You don't want to miss it.



RIPA: Welcome back, everyone, to CNN HEROES: AN ALL STAR TRIBUTE.

COOPER: We are moments away from announcing your choice for 2022 Hero of the Year. But first our final two guests, one is a Grammy, Emmy and Honorary Oscar Award-winning songwriter and a proud supporter of a number of animal charities.

RIPA: And the other is a multiplatinum, singer, actress and UNICEF ambassador, performer their brand new song from the independent film "Tell It Like a Woman." Here's Sofia Carson and Diane Warren with "Applause."




RIPA: That is gorgeous. That was absolutely beautiful. Beautiful performance, and now the moment we've all been waiting for. Let's bring out our Top 10 Honorees back to the stage to reveal our 2022 CNN Hero of the Year.




COOPER: Since we announced the Top 10 Heroes, we gave you the opportunity to vote for the hero who inspires you. The hero who received the most votes will be awarded an additional $100,000 to continue their life-changing work. And this y ear, thanks to our collaboration with the Elevate Prize Foundation whose mission is to make good famous and ignite a global movement for change, the CNN Hero of the Year will also receive the significant unrestricted grant.

RIPA: And all 10 honorees will receive critical non-profit training and ongoing support and additional funding.

COOPER: And now, the 2022 CNN Hero of the Year is --

RIPA: Nelly Cheboi.

COOPER: Nelly Cheboi.


COOPER: Congratulations.


COOPER: Yes. Of course, of course.

CHEBOI: Can she be with me?



CHEBOI: And now in front of the whole world I want to sing you this song one more time.



CHEBOI: My mom only made it to sixth grade. She can barely read and write. She has four daughters and she worked really hard to educate us. Schools in Kenya are very expensive and so people were telling her, you're so lucky you have girls. You don't have to worry about buying land for them, right? They can just get married and so -- but she really believe in educating us so she would slave away. She'd work really hard by the road side.

She was by the road side for four decades and so when she comes home, I'm 4 and 5, I see how exhausted she is and I sing to her this song that says my hands are so tiny, I cannot -- I cannot help you but when I grow up, I'm going to show you the world and then she's like oh, you're so cute. Right?


CHEBOI: And so right now, in front of the whole world, I have shown you the world and the CNN Heroes, you have made this happen.


CHEBOI: I have to --


CHEBOI: I did not -- I did not have much growing up but I have heard a lot of selfless people in my life. My mom, the most selfless person in the world. Jane and Steve, when I came to America for the first time, I was so scared. I wasn't talking. I made myself small but you took me in as a member of your family. You took me in. You fostered me. You helped me so much and when I set up TechLift Africa, you were there to pick up the name.

And for my lovely life partner Tyler, I think you're the most selfless person in the world. You're the most talented software engineer, yet you left your job in Chicago and joined me in Mogotio. Life has been really hard for you in Mogotio. I see that. I see how much hard you work for TechLift Africa and for me. People think I'm selfless but you, you don't have any connection to Mogotio. You don't have any connection to Kenya, yet you left, you left.

You could build a company in the night, that's how talented Tyler is, and just left all that to come and join me in Mogotio, right, to come, and baby, I love you. Thank you so much for supporting me.


RIPA: Congratulations again.

CHEBOI: Thank you. Thank you.


RIPA: What a night. You can still support all of our honorees right now by going to to donate. Each donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar, and if you know someone as amazing as tonight's honorees, you can nominate them to be a CNN Hero in 2023. Nominations are open now.

COOPER: We hope some of these stories had inspired you to get involved and do your part because you too can be somebody's heroes. Thank you and good night.

RIPA: Good night.