Celebrities and musicians are coming together to honor everyday people making the world a better place.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Kelly Ripa are co-hosting the 16th Annual “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” which began at 8 p.m. ET on CNN. They will be joined by more than a dozen celebrities, including supermodel and activist Naomi Campbell and actors Adam Scott of “Severance,” Aubrey Plaza of “The White Lotus” and Tenoch Huerta of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” who will serve as award presenters.
“We’re so deeply honored to be here,” said actress and singer Sofia Carson, who will be performing a song from 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.”
The 2022 CNN Hero of the Year will be revealed during the live broadcast, selected by CNN’s audience from this year’s Top 10 CNN Heroes. All 10 honorees are awarded a $10,000 prize, and the Hero of the Year receives an additional $100,000 for their cause.
Actor Aubrey Plaza introduced the first CNN Hero, Aidan Reilly, who launched his nonprofit while home from college during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“From his pandemic couch, Aidan and his friends co-founded Farmlink Project,” Plaza said. The nonprofit connects excess food from farms across the US – food that would otherwise be wasted – to those who need it. “In just two years, he … has moved more than 70 million pounds,” Plaza added.
Supermodel and activist Naomi Campbell honored Nelly Cheboi, whose nonprofit TechLit has established technology labs with upcycled computers for schoolchildren in rural Kenya. Cheboi grew up in poverty in Kenya, Campbell noted, but education gave her – and her family – a way out.
“I’ll never forget the pain of poverty that still runs deep in my community,” Cheboi said when accepting her award. “The hope that our work can empower people … is the mountain I’m devoted to moving.”
Actor Adam Scott recalled a famous quote from the cardigan-wearing children’s TV host when honoring the night’s third CNN Hero: “Remember how Mr. Rogers … told us that in scary times, we need to look for the helpers?” Scott said. “Well, meet Teresa Gray.”
A nurse and paramedic, Gray’s nonprofit Mobile Medics International sends medical teams to natural disasters and refugee crises around the world.
This year, for the first time, CNN Heroes is collaborating with The Elevate Prize Foundation to provide additional prizes in the form of non-profit training, organizational support and grants to the 10 honorees. The CNN Hero of the Year will also be named an Elevate Prize winner and receive additional funding and ongoing support for their work.
Two teenagers who are making a difference in their communities were also honored as 2022 Young Wonders:
- Sri Nihal Tammana, a 13-year-old from Edison, New Jersey, started “Recycle My Battery,” which keeps used batteries out of the ecosystem through a network of collection bins.
Here are three ways you can be a part of tonight’s CNN Heroes special:
Tune in to watch the two-hour televised event tonight on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español or on CNNgo, the online streaming platform available on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV and Android TV, and on CNN mobile apps.
CNN has partnered with GoFundMe to enable donations to this year’s Top 10 honorees. GoFundMe is the world’s largest fundraising platform that empowers people and charities to give and receive help. Supporters can make online donations to the Top 10 CNN Heroes’ non-profit organizations directly from CNNHeroes.com.
Do you know someone in your community doing amazing things to make the world a better place? Keep an eye on CNN.com/heroes and consider nominating that person as a CNN Hero in 2023. You can also read more about many of the 350 past CNN Heroes who have helped over 55 million people across all 50 US states and in more than 110 countries around the world.