2017 David Chow Humanitarian Award Recipients

Chantal Barlow

Chantal Barlow

Chantal began her Unconventional Apology Project after she learned that her grandmother was tragically killed after being shot by her husband during a drunken rampage. Her grandmother’s story inspired her to be an outlet for other domestic abuse victims and provide them with a safe space to share her story. Chantal provides a therapeutic-like service to the victims and survivors of domestic abuse. She allows them to open up about their experiences and release their stories and emotions that have been kept inside for so long, and for many it is their first time sharing their story which gives them a sense of freedom. Chantal spends countless hours getting to know each participant to create a warm environment and so that they have a sense of relief from whatever they have been keeping on the inside.

Chantal’s main focus is survivorship in facing the violence, moving forward with positive goals, all resulting in freedom. Chantal’s work has helped so many victims that she has been recognized in multiple magazines, has done panels at USC, given lectures at UCLA, and has also received endorsements from the City of Los Angeles for her unique approach to helping domestic abuse victims each day.

To learn more, please visit: Unconventional Apology Project


Jim Killon

Jim Killon

Jim started Changes for New Hope in 2008, and has continuously grown ever since. In 2009 Jim relocated to Peru using his personal life savings, not knowing the Spanish language, culture, or customs of the Peruvians. Changes for New Hope focuses on less privileged children in the Peruvian Andes. Jim has made many changes using his value-based living motto “haz lo correcto-do the right thing”. Shortly after in 2010, the mayor of Huarez adapted Jim’s “haz lo correcto-do the right thing” initiative and made it a city wide program. Jim is an example of compassion, selflessness in action and proving what can be done with determination and focus. Jim has also provided vitamins to thousands of children, as well as Albebdazole (an anti-parasite medication) for the children due to parasites causing anemia in the children he is surrounded by.

He also requests donations for the local children such as school supplies, clothing, and recreational equipment. The children then receive these donations and are benefited greatly. He then expanded his project to begin empowering women who were in unhealthy situation. He saw the women washing clothes in cold glacier streams for hours at a time, so he then collected donations for a portable hand crank washing machine for the women, eliminating their back, neck, and shoulder pain. He is also the author of the books “A Gringo in Peru-A Story of Compassion in Action” and “Living Large, Living Deliberately”. His organization grew from 15 children to over 3000 throughout the region of Ancash.

To learn more, please visit: Changes for New Hope


Heidi Vladyka

Heidi Vladyka

Heidi Heidi is an occupational therapist at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital located in Washington where she works hands on with the children and families that receive the therapy services provided by Push International. Push International is a nonprofit organization that partners with a children’s therapy center located in Mazatlan, Mexico. In addition to being an occupational therapist, Heidi is also the Director of Distributions for Push International. The main purpose of Push International is to provide occupational therapy evaluations, assessments, and intervention to children who have cerebral palsy. The children involved learn how to socialize with their surroundings and develop cognitive, vision, and motor skills.

Heidi personally has assisted in 9 groups in Mexico since she has started her work with Push International in the past 5 years. In her latest visit to Mexico, she was able to visit the home of a patient where she educated the family of the 18 year old boy on how to use a mechanical lift so he could easily be transferred from his chair to his bed. She also travels to Sinaloa multiple times a year to deliver equipment and teach other therapy students during sessions with the children. Heidi is also responsible for storing around 500 pieces of mobility equipment in her home to have shipped to Mexico. Without Heidi’s work of distributing equipment to the children of Mexico, they would not have access to the same quality equipment provided by Push International.

To learn more, please visit: Push International


Neil Barnard

Neal D. Barnard

Dr. Barnard is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine, as well as the president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. His organization is a non-profit organization with more than 150,000 physicians. Dr. Barnard is an advocate for preventative medicine, well balanced nutrition, and a more human connected approach to medical research and education. He has helped bring plant-based diets into today’s world. Dr. Barnard’s vision was to make nutrition and dietary choices the first factor to fight and prevent disease. His vision then led him to the opening of the Barnard Medical Center in January 2016.

The Barnard Medical center is a non-profit health care practice that includes nutritional interventions into patient treatment plans, and also holds free classes on healthy eating for their patients. Dr. Barnard has also influenced the public policies regarding nutrition. A few of his achievements include: Tyson withdrew advertisements encouraging consumers to eat chicken for heart health, Burger King alerted consumers that their chicken products contained PhIP, and more than half a million people have participated in their online program to help people transition into a plant-based diet.

Dr. Barnard has also hosted three television programs on PBS regrading nutrition and health, authored more than 70 scientific publication, and written 18 books. Dr. Barnard has also been an advocate for elimination of experimentation on animals in the field. He made a big impact on the elimination of animal testing in medical schools all through the United States and Canada.

To learn more, please visit: The Barnard Medical Center


Nogol Pedram

Nogol Pedram

Nogol, currently a Master’s degree student herself, has been devoted to serving underprivileged children in the Southern California area for many years. She formed her own private foundation called Mind the Children specifically to work with kids in low income areas to provide them with them with emotional support, confidence, and experiences they wouldn’t receive otherwise. Nogol goes to dangerous areas such as Skid Row and the surrounding children’s shelters on a weekly basis to provide them with emotional support and counseling. She takes time to meet with individual children to speak with them and let them know that she truly does care about them and their well being. Along with providing them with individual attention, Nogol takes the kids in shelters on field trips to places such as museums, parks, beaches, and camping to give them an experience they haven’t been able to have before. Nogol often shows up at the children’s shelters with pizza for all of the children, at her own expense. Nogol has also visited over 340 schools to reach out to underprivileged children and has individually visited with and counseled over 10,000 children.

Nogal also created the Circle of Excellence Certificates to assist with feeding many of the children who often go hungry. The certificates are distributed to the hungry children whose parents aren’t able to provide enough food, which they then can turn in the certificates which are redeemed for food. Nogol actions are those of a true humanitarian. She believes, and her work has shown, that when someone believes in children they will be inspired to believe in themselves. Taking the time to personal visit, feed, counsel and spend time with these underprivileged children is making a difference in their young lives, one by one, and in the community at large.

To learn more, please visit: Mind the Children Organization


Tore Knos

Tore Knos

Tore has been traveling to disaster zones all across the world where he would then help the affected areas overcome the effects of the disaster. Dr. Knos has a PhD in Public Administration so he is familiar with the public sector in the US and other countries. He has been working with the rotary organization Disaster Aid International and has traveled to disaster areas such as a major hurricane in the Bahamas, flooding in Malaysia, typhoons in the Philippines, and a war zone in Southern Sudan. Each location that they travel to has a specific plan to help their population overcome the disaster. To determine what aid was required for the affected area, Tore would meet with the local humanitarian organizations to determine what they needed, rather than just supplying what they assumed they needed. They could supply things such as shelters or water filters so the affected families could start rebuilding their lives. During Tore’s deployments to the developing countries, he started to realize that sanitation was always the major cause of sickness. Without proper sanitation facilities, bacteria can easily spread through the water and the soil, which led to soil being depleted in poorer areas and farmers not being able to produce crops resulting in food shortages.

These experiences inspired him to begin writing a book “Urine Diverting Dehydrating Toilets” that is expected to come out in October 2017. His book described a new method of eliminating all pathogens and supplying nutrients to the soil derived from human excrement in a safe and effective way. Tore is willing to put himself in harms way if it means that he is able to help people in need.

To learn more, please visit: Disaster Aid International


Heather Connell

Heather Connell

Heather was born and raised in Massachusetts. In 2001, she relocated to Los Angeles and founded Displaced Yankee Productions, an independent film company dedicated to using film as a platform for raising social awareness and activism through entertainment.

After making two short films, Choosing Your Course (2002) and Black and White (2004), Heather produced and directed her first feature documentary, the award winning Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia’s Children. In 2014, she released her second documentary feature, the award winning Forget Us Not, which follows the stories of some of the five-million non-Jewish Holocaust survivors and is narrated by golden globe winning actor Ron Perlman.

In 2007, Hearther founded the Safe Haven Medical Outreach Program. Safe Haven’s mission is to provide intervention and support for children with disabilities and medical issues, allowing them the opportunity to access the medical and therapeutic resources they need in order to reach full potential, lead healthy lives and reach their highest level of personal independence. Their dedicated team currently provides physical and occupational therapy, rehabilitation, nutritional support, health assessments and education, and ongoing monitoring and support for around forty children with severe disabilities, multiple diagnoses and complex medical issues in Siem Reap province.

To learn more, please visit: Safe Haven Khmer