Homeless Boy Does Homework By McDonald's Light, Inspires Thousands

by
Indrani Sengupta
This viral photo of a little boy who will stop at nothing to achieve an education is inspiring, heartbreaking, and humbling, all in one breath.

It's no wonder that this image from the Philippines has captured the hearts and imaginations of people worldwide.

In it, a little homeless boy sits on the pavement next to a McDonald's, using the light coming from the restaurant's windows to do his school homework. Though the conditions are unfavorable, to say the least, the child is completely absorbed in his work.

Nine-year-old Daniel Carbrera was spotted by a Manila medical student, Joyce Torrefranca, who took a quick photo and shared it on Facebook.

I got inspired by a kid ??

Posted by Joyce Gilos Torrefranca on  Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The picture was retweeted, reposted, reshared, thousands of times. People have begun using the photo as a platform to express their thoughts about hard work, humility, and gratitude.

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Torrefranca herself was deeply moved:

"As a student, it gave me an inspiration to work harder. I'm fortunate my parents were able to send me to school. I seldom go to coffee shops to study, but this kid just hit me."

I applaud #kmjs10 for its relevance. This kid is Daniel Cabrera who teaches usna aral muna over everything. pic.twitter.com/u46EguVrq0

“You really don't need much, you just have to be determined and focused on the things that you want to achieve."

Daniel wasn't always homeless. But then his home burnt down and his father passed away. Now he's often seen begging with his mother in the area.

But none of these immense traumas and ongoing obstacles have broken Daniel's devotion to his education.

His teacher, Rosalina Detuya, describes him as “a happy child.”

“He is also intelligent and actually answers during class discussion; he really participates.”

But while we laud this extraordinary little boy, it's also important to have compassion for the disadvantaged who have not prevailed through optimism and dedication. Individual courage is important, but not all individuals can overcome the socioeconomic hurdles they've been handed. Wider change is what will help all of us in the long run.

Read more: Amazing 9-Year-Old Builds Homeless Shelters

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