Earlier this year, CNN named me as one of their 2011 Heroes. This was a great honour not only for me, but for my whole team working along side me.
One thing that the CNN award didn't acknowledge, though, is that I too have my heroes. Many of them, in fact.
They are the girls and boys who I meet each day, who have struggled so much to have what many of us take for granted and do everything they can to make their lives better.
They are kids who have every reason to give up, but don't.
One of my heroes is in New Zealand at the moment, studying a business degree at the National Technology Institute. His name is Chinh, he's 21, and he has had a really tough life. I could write a very long post about all the problems he's had to put up with until now.
I met Chinh when he was 14 and working on the streets of Hanoi to support his family. But today I don't want to write about the hardships he's faced; I want to write about a mountain that he's conquered.
Last week, Chinh graduated from his first year at college. Despite having to drop out of school when he was barely a teen, and despite all of the obstacles that life has thrown in his way, Chinh came top of his course. Number 1.
Do you see why this guy is a hero to me?
But that's not all. For coming first, Chinh was awarded a gift of $100. This is hugely helpful to Chinh, who has been working part time jobs in restaurants and cafeterias to make ends meet. However, he contacted me immediately to say that he wants this money to be given to Blue Dragon children at the upcoming Tet Awards night.
One of our prizes on this night is for kids who have done particularly well at school. Chinh would like his money to be divided among this year's award recipients.
What a beautiful thing for him to do.
Chinh, congratulations on coming top of the business course. You are an amazing young man with the whole world at your feet. You're my hero.