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And the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012 are ...

By Kyle Almond, CNN
updated 1:05 PM EDT, Thu September 20, 2012
Pushpa Basnet was shocked to learn that children in Nepal were <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/15/world/cnnheroes-basnet-nepal-prisons/index.html'>living in prisons with their parents</a>. In 2005, she started a children's center that has provided housing, education and medical care to more than 140 children of incarcerated parents. "I always had a dream to build our own home for these children, and I want to rescue more children who are still in prisons," Basnet said. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/26/world/cnnheroes-prison-children/index.html' target='_blank'>See more photos of Pushpa Basnet</a>, who was voted <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/02/world/cnnheroes-show/index.html'>CNN Hero of the Year</a> for 2012. Pushpa Basnet was shocked to learn that children in Nepal were living in prisons with their parents. In 2005, she started a children's center that has provided housing, education and medical care to more than 140 children of incarcerated parents. "I always had a dream to build our own home for these children, and I want to rescue more children who are still in prisons," Basnet said. See more photos of Pushpa Basnet, who was voted CNN Hero of the Year for 2012.
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The top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012
The top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012
The top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012
The top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012
The top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012
The top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012
The top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012
The top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012
The top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012
The top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012 represent six countries, four continents
  • They will be honored at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," which airs live December 2
  • Who will be Hero of the Year? Cast your vote now online or through your mobile device

(CNN) -- For their extraordinary efforts to help change the world and better the lives of others, 10 everyday people will receive $50,000 and a chance for much more.

This select group -- the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012 -- was revealed Thursday.

All the top 10 were nominated by CNN's global audience and profiled earlier this year on CNN. They will be honored at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," a globally broadcast event that airs live December 2 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

At the tribute show, hosted by Anderson Cooper in Los Angeles, one of the top 10 will be named CNN Hero of the Year and receive an additional $250,000 to continue their work.

CNN Heroes: Top 10 revealed

The Hero of the Year is decided by a public vote. Through November 28, you can vote for your favorite Hero at CNNHeroes.com or from your mobile device.

This is the sixth year CNN has conducted its annual search for CNN Heroes. In those years, the campaign has profiled more than 180 people on CNN and CNN.com.

Here are the top 10 Heroes of 2012, in alphabetical order:

Pushpa Basnet
Pushpa Basnet was shocked to learn that many children in Nepal have to live in prisons with their parents. In 2005, she started a children's center that has provided support, such as housing, education and medical care, to more than 140 children of incarcerated parents.

Wanda Butts
Wanda Butts lost her son in a drowning accident six years ago. In his memory, she started the Josh Project, a nonprofit that taught nearly 1,200 children -- most of them minorities -- how to swim.

Mary Cortani
Mary Cortani is a former Army dog trainer who started Operation Freedoms Paws, a nonprofit that helps war veterans train their own service dogs. Since 2010, she has worked with more than 80 veterans who have invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Catalina Escobar
Catalina Escobar is helping young moms in Colombia, where one in five girls age 15-19 is or has been pregnant. Since 2002, her foundation has provided counseling, education and job training to more than 2,000 teenage mothers.

Razia Jan
Razia Jan is fighting to educate girls in rural Afghanistan, where terrorists will stop at nothing to keep them from learning. She and her team at the Zabuli Education Center are providing a free education to about 350 girls, many of whom wouldn't normally have access to school.

Thulani Madondo
Thulani Madondo struggled as a child growing up in the slums of Kliptown, South Africa. Today, his Kliptown Youth Program provides school uniforms, tutoring, meals and activities to 400 children in the community.

Leo McCarthy
In memory of his daughter, who was killed by a drunken driver in 2007, Leo McCarthy started Mariah's Challenge. The nonprofit gives college scholarships to teenagers who pledge not to drink while they're underage. Nearly $150,000 in scholarship money has been awarded.

Connie Siskowski
Connie Siskowski is helping young people who have to take care of an ill, disabled or aging family member. Since 2006, her nonprofit has provided assistance to more than 550 young caregivers in Palm Beach County, Florida.

Scott Strode
After beating his addiction to drugs and alcohol, Scott Strode found support through sports. Since 2007, his nonprofit, Phoenix Multisport, has provided free athletic activities and a sober support community to more than 6,000 participants in Colorado.

Malya Villard-Appolon
Malya Villard-Appolon is a rape survivor dedicated to supporting victims of sexual violence in Haiti. In 2004, she co-founded KOFAVIV, an organization that has helped more than 4,000 rape survivors find safety, psychological support and/or legal aid.

In addition to receiving $50,000 for being a top 10 CNN Hero, this year's group will also receive free training from the Annenberg Foundation, a leading supporter of nonprofits worldwide. Each Hero will receive a customized version of the Annenberg Alchemy program, which provides practical guidance on fundraising, communications, management and much more.

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