Source: facebook.com/joyce.torrefranca

Homeless Boy Forced to Study under Street Lights Gets Mom Out of Poverty after Going Viral

Lois Oladejo
Mar 20, 2022
02:00 A.M.
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A 9-year-old boy living in a canteen due to homelessness challenges himself for a better life by studying. Thankfully, after a photo of him reading under street lights went viral, his reality changed.


The evolution of the internet, including social media platforms, has helped numerous individuals learn and share their stories, which somehow reach the hearts of millions.

However, this was not what a 20-year-old University student in the Philippines thought when she photographed a young homeless boy named Daniel Cabrera.

Daniel Cabrera using lights from a restaurant to study. | facebook.com/joyce.torrefranca


In 2015, the college medical technology student, Joyce Torrefranca, shared a simple shot of Cabrera crouched behind a table not too far from McDonald's. He used the light from the restaurant to study.

This picture gained an audience, and many wanted to know about Cabrera and how to influence his dream of being educated. Eventually, the publicity changed his life.

Daniel Cabrera studying in his classroom. | Source: youtube.com/Life Where I'm From



Cabrera, an elementary school student in Mandaue city, lived with his mother and sibling in an open food stall. Even though Cabrera's mother worked hard to provide for the family, they struggled to feed.

She was left as the breadwinner following her husband's imprisonment and eventual death in jail. Their home was also razed to the ground a few years ago. Still, her son was so determined to be educated that he often read his books and finished his homework.

Daniel Cabrera taking his bath. | Source: youtube.com/Life Where I'm From


Sadly, Cabrera did not have more than one pencil after his classmate stole his second pencil. Yet, he maintained discipline towards his studies.

Apart from his dedication to learning, he was also an understanding child. His mother, Christina Espinoza, said:

"He is a very studious and determined boy...he would insist on going to school even without his lunch money because I have no money to give."

Daniel Cabrera and his mother Christina Espinoza. | Source: youtube.com/Life Where I'm From



During one of his numerous homework times, in the night when he sought light at the nearest eatery, a young lady was passing by in a bus with her friend, and they decided to take a photo of the seemingly studious boy.

It motivated the university student to focus as she marveled at how he struggled to read. She captioned the shot "inspired by a kid."

Many people liked, shared, and commented. Hundreds ran into thousands as they gave kudos to the homeless young man's discipline and focus.


Many commenters pegged Cabrera as the story's hero, establishing that he should be given a better chance at learning. Following the awareness, help came from every corner. McDonald's decided to provide the family with free meals and allowance until high school.

A fundraising page was set up to raise money for the boy's education. Cabrera's mother was overwhelmed with the love her family received, and she told interviewers:

"We're overjoyed. I don't know what I would do with all of these blessings. Now Daniel will not have to suffer just to finish his studies."

Through this support, Cabrera will achieve his dream of becoming a successful individual in society; he already talked about becoming a policeman.

A year later, the college student who unknowingly changed his life reunited with the family. Like Cabrera, she passionately focused on her education and graduated as a medical technology student.