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October 7th, 2010
02:02 PM ET

CNN Hero: 'I am thrilled, excited, grateful and humbled.'

Susan Burton's nonprofit, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, provides sober housing and other support to formerly incarcerated women in California.
Susan Burton's nonprofit, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, provides sober housing and other support to formerly incarcerated women in California.

Programming Note: CNN Heroes received more than ten thousand nominations from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year. Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year continues through November 18th (6am ET) at CNNHeroes.com

SUSAN BURTON
Editor's Note: Susan Burton's nonprofit, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, provides sober housing and other support to formerly incarcerated women in California.

When CNN called to say I had been selected to the top 10 Heroes, my body exploded with joy. It felt like the 4th of July. I screamed and could hardly contain myself. I am thrilled, excited, grateful and humbled all in the same moment. By the time I got to my office my face was aching from the huge smile I had carried as I drove in. Dreams do come true in America.

I thought of all the folks who have been a big part of helping me and the hope that has been transformed into faith to make a better world for people who live in despair.

This will help me do more of what I want to do. I have so many dreams to help people – to support and create little non-profits for more re-entry programs across the country. I want to put more resources into other projects, maybe even new computers.

I thought about how much faith I have been blessed to receive through this journey. I thought about how I feel the hand of God protecting and guiding me through this life. I thought of how fortunate I am to be chosen as a CNN hero and how I will be allowed to help others step up and realize their dream to. Thank you CNN and hello Anderson Cooper!

VOTE FOR THE CNN HERO OF THE YEAR
WATCH CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE
A Global Celebration: Thanksgiving Night at 8p ET


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