Nelly Chemboi who in 2019 quit a lucrative software engineering job in Chicago to create computer labs for Kenyan schoolchildren, is the 2022 CNN Hero of the Year.
Online voters selected her from among this year’s Top 10 CNN Heroes finalists.
Cheboi’s nonprofit, TechLit Africa, has provided thousands of students across rural Kenya with access to donated, upcycled computers — and the chance at a brighter future.
As CNN Hero of the Year, Cheboi will receive $100,000 to expand her work. She and the other top 10 CNN Heroes honored at Sunday’s gala all receive a $10,000 cash award and, for the first time, additional grants, organizational training and support from The Elevate Prize Foundation through a new collaboration with CNN Heroes. Nelly will also be named an Elevate Prize winner, which comes with a $300,000 grant and additional support worth $200,000 for her nonprofit.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Kelly Ripa co-hosted the 16th Annual “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” which featured more than a dozen celebrity presenters.
“We’re so deeply honored to be here,” said actress and singer Sofia Carson, who perfomed a song with award-winning songwriter Diane Warren at the event. “Diane wrote this incredible anthem ‘Applause’ for those leading, surviving and fighting and tonight we dedicate this song and performance to our heroes.”