Dr. Laura Stachel co-founded We Care Solar to provide a simple, reliable light and power source to health care facilities in developing countries. Since 2009, more than 300 “solar suitcases” have been helping to save mothers and babies lives in 27 countries.
One of this year’s Top 10 Heroes will become the ‘CNN Hero of the Year’ and awarded $250,000 to continue their work.
You can vote once a day, every day at www.cnnheroes.com through Sunday, November 17.
Today CNN announced the Top Ten Heroes of 2013. They are ten everyday people who are changing the world in extraordinary ways. Each will receive a $50,000 grant to help them with their work, and each has a shot at being named CNN Hero of the Year. You can help decide the winner.
Whoever is named CNN Hero of the Year will receive an additional $250,000 grant to further advance their cause.
Anderson introduces you to the remarkable everyday people who will be honored this year on "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute."
Each of the ten finalists will receive $50,000.
You can help select which one will be named as the CNN Hero of the Year and receive an additional $250,000.
Vote for your favorite Hero now at CNNHeroes.com or from your mobile device. The winner will be revealed during the tribute show, which will be hosted by Anderson Cooper at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
CNN's Chris Cuomo meets teens in Chicago who are turning their lives around thanks to one woman's dedication. CNN Hero Diane Latiker began by inviting young people into her home to escape the violence on the streets. Now she has a community center where she serves as a role model and source of encouragement.
For the past six years, CNN has been honoring everyday people who are changing the world.
The tradition continues Sunday night, when the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012 will be recognized at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
"CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" will air live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on CNN's global networks. The show, hosted by Anderson Cooper, celebrates the year's top 10 CNN Heroes, who each receive a $50,000 grant for their extraordinary efforts to improve the lives of others.
At the end of the show, Anderson will announce the CNN Hero of the Year. That person, one of the top 10 Heroes, has been selected by a public vote that ended Wednesday on CNN.com. He or she will receive an additional $250,000 to continue their work.
Many celebrities will be joining CNN to help tell these Heroes' remarkable stories at Sunday's show. This year's celebrity presenters include movie stars Susan Sarandon, Adrien Brody, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Harvey Keitel and Josh Duhamel; athletes Jeff Gordon and Cullen Jones; and hip-hop artist 50 Cent. Television stars Rainn Wilson ("The Office"), Rico Rodriguez ("Modern Family"), Jane Lynch ("Glee"), Miranda Cosgrove ("iCarly") and David Spade ("Rules of Engagement") will also be in attendance.
Wanda Butts lost her teenage son in a drowning accident six years ago, and ever since then she has been working to change a troubling statistic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African-American children between the ages of 5 and 14 drown at a rate almost three times higher than white children in the same age range.
Since 2007, Butts and her nonprofit, the Josh Project, have helped nearly 1,200 children - most of them minorities - learn how to swim.
CNN asked Butts for her thoughts on being chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012.
CNN: What was the reaction when you found out you were a top 10 CNN Hero?
Wanda Butts: Shock and unbelief! I was thinking that this could not be happening to me, just as I felt back on August 6, 2006, when I was told that Josh had drowned.
Through sports, Scott Strode was able to overcome his addiction to drugs and alcohol.
He worked out in a boxing gym, got involved with triathlons and climbing, and made new friends who supported him through his transition.
Encouraged by his success, Strode wanted to help others deal with their own addiction. So in 2007, he started a nonprofit, Phoenix Multisport.
Phoenix Multisport has provided free athletic activities and a sober support community to more than 6,000 participants in Colorado. It offers dozens of programs every week, from casual walks and yoga to mountain biking and ice climbing.
CNN asked Strode for his thoughts on being chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012.
CNN: What do you hope this recognition will mean for Phoenix Multisport?
Scott Strode: My hope is that sharing this story on the national stage will help Phoenix Multisport reach the angel donors that we need to support our current work and help us expand nationally.
More than 23 million people over the age of 12 in the U.S. are struggling with addiction and need treatment. Of those, only about 10% get treatment.
Because Nepal lacks the social safety net that exists in most Western nations, many children there have little choice but to live in prison when their parents are incarcerated.
Since 2005, however, Pushpa Basnet has been working to get some of these kids out from behind prison walls.
Basnet provides a day care program for children under 6, and she runs a home where dozens of kids have a chance to live a more normal life.
Basnet and her group have helped more than 140 children of incarcerated parents.
CNN asked for her thoughts on being chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012.
CNN: What do you hope this recognition will mean for the Early Childhood Development Center?
Pushpa Basnet: I think this recognition has given importance to the welfare and upbringing of the children who will become responsible citizens of the country and the leaders of tomorrow.
I hope that ECDC is soon able to expand its services so that it is able to accommodate more children who are still living behind prison walls.
The South African slum of Kliptown has long suffered from high rates of unemployment, crime and school dropouts, and the end of apartheid did little to change the situation.
But hundreds of children are starting to find hope thanks to Thulani Madondo, who is changing the community through education.
Madondo's nonprofit, the Kliptown Youth Program, provides free academic support, meals and after-school activities to more than 400 children living in the slum.
CNN asked Madondo for his thoughts on being chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012.
CNN: What do you hope this recognition will mean for the Kliptown Youth Program?
Thulani Madondo: It means we can continue to grow as an organization, and it has helped us educate people about the life that we live here.