December 11th, 2022

Nelly Cheboi Named CNN Hero of the Year

The 2022 CNN Hero of the Year, Nelly Cheboi, upcycles old computers to open new worlds for young Kenyans.  The 16th annualCNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute hosted by Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa aired live tonight from New York City.

After growing up in poverty in Kenya, Nelly Cheboi found her passion in computer science. Since 2018, she has dedicated herself to bringing technology skills, education, and opportunities to kids in Kenya to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty for a new generation.

She builds computer labs in rural classrooms using recycled computers, and to date, her organization, TechLit Africa, has reached 6,000 students, hired 15 teachers and works with 15 schools and counting.

Joined by her mother, Cheboi accepted the award in her honor. “I did not have much growing up, but I have had a lot of selfless people in my life.  My mom, the most selfless person in the world,” she said.

Each Top 10 Hero will be awarded $10,000 and Cheboi, as the Hero of the Year, will receive an additional $100,000 grant to continue her life-changing work.

The Elevate Prize Foundation, whose mission is to create a fanbase for good and ignite a global movement for change, will provide all honorees with an unrestricted grant of $25,000, tailored capacity-building, and ongoing support. The CNN Hero of the Year, Cheboi will also be named as one of the Elevate Prize winners for 2023. As an Elevate Prize winner, Nelly Cheboi will be awarded with an unrestricted grant of $300,000 and supportive services valued at $200,000. The foundation will also host all Top 10 CNN Hero honorees at its annual Make Good Famous Summit in Miami, FL.

Emmy-nominated actor Adam Scott (“Severance”), award-winning actress Aubrey Plaza (“Emily the Criminal” & “The White Lotus” ), actress and philanthropist Holly Robinson Peete (“Holiday Heritage”), award-winning actress Iman Vellani (“Ms. Marvel”), Emmy Award-winning actor Justin Theroux (“ The White House Plumbers”) and his rescue dog Kuma, Award-winning actor Jeremy Sisto (“FBI: International”), Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor and founder of Kevin Bacon, Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress Kristin Davis (“And Just Like That”), supermodel and activist Naomi Campbell, actor Simu Liu (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”), actor Tenoch Huerta (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), and actress Zoey Deutch (“Something from Tiffany’s”), were among the presenters who will commemorate the 16th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. Singer and actress Sofia Carson accompanied by legendary Grammy, Emmy and Honorary Oscar-Award winning songwriter Diane Warren performed their new single “Applause” from the independent film “Tell It Like a Woman” with music and lyrics by Warren.

CNN has partnered with GoFundMe to enable donations to this year’s Top 10 honorees.  Supporters can make online donations to the Top 10 CNN Heroes’ nonprofit organizations directly from Subaru is matching donations to all of the 2022 Top 10 CNN Heroes up to $50,000 per hero through January 3, 2023.

The 16th Annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute will stream live for subscribers via CNNgo ( and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV and Android TV) and on the CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android. The special will be available on demand beginning Monday, December 12th via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms and CNN mobile apps.


About CNN Worldwide

CNN Worldwide is the most honored brand in cable news, reaching more individuals on television and online than any other cable news organization in the United States. Globally, CNN International is the most widely distributed news channel. CNN Digital is the #1 online news destination in the world, with more unique visitors, global unique visitors and video viewers than any other news source.  Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with over 1,000 local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is a division of Warner Bros Discovery. More information about the CNN Heroes campaign may be found at