tv Champions for Change CNN June 23, 2018 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
go to apple podcast or your favorite podcast app and subscribe to the axe files. so the most important people never make the headlines. but they make a difference dramatically improving the lives of countless others. maybe you know someone like that. my colleagues and i were asked to seek out the changemakers, the people working on causes close to our hearts and tell their stories. tonight, you'll meet them. this is champions for change. ♪
good evening. over the next hour, we're going to introduce you to some amazing people who are passionate about making the world a better place. we set out to meet them, but also to do more than that. we got involved with the organizations we championed and the people they served. we tell you how they were changed and how all of us changed as well. later on, i'll introduce you to my champion for change. a woman tackling an issue i care deeply about. but first, let's start be bill weir. most people walk right by the men and women living on the street, but not the folks from a group called urban pathways. in the richest city in the world, a place with so much to see, it's a sight that makes so many look away. >> hello. >> but they lean in. >> hello. are you okay?
>> rain or shine or constant rejection, they refuse to forget the forgotten. because these angels in orange know that with enough relentless compassion, they can turn a life like this -- >> look how great my closet is. i got shelves. for my shoes. i put my sneakers up there. >> into this. >> look how big my bathroom is. >> this is robert. >> i got a shower. and i got a hand shower. >> he's kind of excited about his little studio apartment because for a decade, he lived here. this is your old home. >> yeah. where i got add an aneurysm. >> for years, he sneered at those angels in orange until a near deaexperience urged him to trust. >> my real story is is about these people. they saved my life.
they saved my life. >> i think about that story a lot walking around my city. and i wonder if we repeated it enough times in enough cities, could america rid itself of homelessness? and you think about it this way. you see a sick b and lost person on the treat every day. day after day. feel sorry. then maybe give them a couple bucks or buy them a sandwich. years of data shows us that good intention feeds bad habits. and a vicious expensive cycle of emergency rooms and shelters and drunk tanks. what that person really needs is a home. so instead of money the money, maybe give them a card to a place like urban pathways, charities that believe in housing first. it's not as complicated as it appears. if you can provide people with stable housing and with support, in conjunction with you, will do
the work. to find dignity and to basically reach their full potential. >> which is different from the old model, right? >> totally different. >> with the old model, a person had to get clean and sober first. they had to get housing ready. but years in scary shelters and shadows can make h near impossible. >> and my giant sized microwave that i love so much. oh, yeah. >> they do so much better. in the place of their own. >> this is a long way from a park bench. >> oh, yeah, and the subway. >> and the best part is to see them come through at the epd. ten years down the line, you see them, you won't even recognize them. >> in over 20 years of outreach, martha has seen so many transformations, including charles, her partner. >> you were on the street? how old? >> 18. >> really? and what happened? how did you get there? how did you get out? >> gangs, so i left.
i stayed in shelter. got my first apartment and i'm like 33. >> congratulations. while they're out here building trust, their colleagues are building homes. with a creative mix of public and private financing. >> on behalf of your friends at urban pathways, welcome home. >> thank you, sir. can't wait to go check it out. >> after losing his mother to cancer and his home to a scamming landlord -- >> it's beautiful. >> this robert's bipolar disorder could have led to a life on the street, but thanks to donors like extell developments and a small government subsidy, h his new apartment cost about the same as keeping him live with shelters and emergency rooms. >> as sk any new yorker would you rather spend 22,000 a year and have a person sleep ong the sidewalk or spend 23 thourk a year and have them liveing in a
apartment like this! so what kind of future do you imagine now that you're in a place like this? >> the goal is to youn, start working. i'm going to get my social work degree. >> okay. >> give a little back. >> absolutely. give a little back. >> that is why angels of u ban pathways are my role models. i want you to hang on to this card. champions for change ch out there proving what can happen with a little old fashioned compassion and a new idea. you trust me? you trust me? you got him. he trusts you, bill. >> he trusts me. he's a tough nut to crack though. i have to keep going back to that guy. >> i think even's dealt with this at some point. you say in your essay, it's this awkward look away, the panhandle sights that people don't know. do you behave different ly? >> i do. and it took a while. my first subway ride in new york, i ended up wrestling with a obvious deranged homeless
person. it's an odd introduction in new york city and it scared me for a long time and i thought place was unhingeded. you live here, you start to see the same people every day and the fear sort of melting away. you wonder what's the story that put this poern here. >> so many things,addiction, me health issue. no money, no housing, which comes first. how coyou decide sm. >> i think in a place like new york and other big cities, cost of live sg so expensive, people are living check to check and if there's an addiction problem that gets in the way of that, some estranged family members an before you know it, you're living in your car then the car gets repo successed and the shelter system is very scary and for the people out there year after year after year, it's a tiny percentage of the overall homeless population. social workers, policymakers think if we could tackle those guys who have been on the street
. the oerk in haiti in 2010, my chest still tightens just thinking about it. the destruction and desperation. had an impact on my friend, anderson cooper. he went back to hate thety to meet up with his champion for change. a woman who's restoring hope among the country's orphans. there's some 75,000 children living in orphanages in haiti. around the world, there are more than 140 million. the vast majority of these kids will never be adopted. so how can we help improve their lives? that's the question dr. jane is dedicated her life to answering.
she reasuns a foundation called worldwide orphans which works in haiti, the united states and four other countries to develop ways to help these kids learn and love and laugh. ♪ wwo funds programs in local schools in orphanages to help promote play as a tool of learning. >> it's about using music as way to learn and be playful. >> and they teach teachers to be active participants in the class. that's the principal on the drums. these are kids who live in the wra? >> yeah, absolutely. >> wow. so little. music and play isn't swrus about havijust about having fun. it's about helping kids grow. why have a toy library? >> it's the ideas that toys and play enhances learning. very simple idea.
it's been studied over the last hundred years. play has an impact on the brain of children. >> it changes the physiology of the brain. ♪ at wwo programs, it's not just orphans, all disadvantaged kids are welcomed. when was the last time you played this? this is 3-year-old jevinska. her father abandoned her and her mother is now a volunteer. she's not no preschool. this toy library is where she learns. when we first meet her, she's quiet. want to put that on top? put that in there? wow. but after using the blocks to play, she becomes animated and engaged. oh, no.
>> i think you have a little attachment going on. >> she does. i like your hair. >> yes, see. this is what you have going on right now. you were successful in communicating with her and g getting her taepgs and she got close to you. >> hello. i've heard you say that if a child has one adult who love them, they can be healthy. >> absolutely. healthy emotionally and physically because the adult serves as their secure attachment figure that provides them with good nourishment and education and the support they need when they face challenges. >> she first got involved in haiti after f the earthquake. the erp here eight years ago in a hospital when a 5-year-old boy was rushed in. he'd been trapped underneath the rubble of his home for more than
seven days. what's he saying? >> i want to drink some juice. want to drink some juice. >> amazingly, he survive d, but ten members of his family, including his parents, did not. in the years since, she has stepped in to help care for him and his two brothers. i'm anderson. she brought us to meet him now. he's 13 and lives with his brothers and extended family in port-au-prince. after the earthquake, he was quiet. >> like in a state of stiffness and paralysis. emotionally and physically. >> for month sns. >> for years. >> thanks to wwo, monoly is in skill and is thriving. hets to one day become a doctor or soccer player. ♪ in haiti, soccer is a big part of wwo's learning program.
monoly joined us at the field as well. watching him laugh and play like any other 13-year-old boy is remarkable considering what he's been through. he's an example of the good work that dr. jane and wwo are doing on the ground in haiti and elsewhere around the world. and with more funding, there's no telling what they can do to help this generation of kids grow up to be happy and healthy. ♪ as we tackle the big problems in places like haiti we shouldn't forget power of play to bring strength to the most vulnerable. speaking of bringing strength, kate bolduan sat down with a group of women determined to
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brooke baldwin has been a total space geek like me since she was a little l kid. lucky brooke got to go back to the u.s. space and rocket center in huntsville, alabama to meet mana sa engineer who spends her summers inspiring the next generation of women astronauts. >> when i see these kids and especially these young girls on the training center floor, i'm so excited for them because i know their possibilities have just exploded and they're going to do dpraet things. >> hi performing kitd kids rocket i rocketing to a bright future r b sow smart kids never get a fair shot to shine. especially those in low income areas. don lemon met a champion for change who works with a group called oliver scholars. their goal, find those high potential kids and give them a once in a lifetime boost. >> good morning. >> hi. you here to be interviewed? >> we are, hello, good morning. good morning.
>> a bit nervous but i'm kind of excited to go through the process. >> will i do good, do bad? i don't know. >> we are looking at selecting 100 students. >> it's a very selective program. not sure if i would have gotten in. sfl i'm the director of guidance and scholars. >> the most important thing today is to have fun. we're asking questions of you but you should have questions of us. >> any one or any organization that gives access to children who would probably not have it i think it's important. and to be quite honest, a lot of kids look like me. >> good morning, everyone. and welcome to bar nared. >> like ar aiiana. >> this is where i am. i'm so excited. >> i went through two rigorous
summers with the program. >> my mom said this prom is the best shot we go to a great future. >> they teach you to be very well rounded. it's not just b about your academics. >> i give credit to oliver for giving me the opportunity when i was 12 years old for transforming my life to grow outside the bounds of zip codes and area code an connect to the globe. >> manny is the ultimate give backer. he actually walks the walk and talks the talk. he was grateful that he felt obligated in a good bay to go back and share and make those experiences happen for other people. >> manny, you a 2004 graduate? 2004 graduate. sfwl i live and breathe oliver. i grew up through the program and have been working there for the past eight years. >> one of the first things that's engrained in scholars immediately is the three tenants of leadership, scholarship and service. >> it's an essential part of
where my motivation comes from in terms of leadership. what i'm doing now is going to work to build my future. >> my favorite is called leadership. i think there's so many different types of leadership. i play quarterback. that's the leader of the team. having gone to oliver and having had experns in leadership prepares you in the classroom, on the field. just anywhere you go. >> i had to dig in the tunnel, in the tunnel, i had to go into the tunnel. kevin, what was that? >> you were walking down the stairs and you fell. and this was a dog. >> oh. >> had gotten dog, i would have said you fell. >> a dog is this. a dog. >> since you've been an oliver scholar, do you feel different? do you think you've changed? >> i do. oliver has made me proud of who am as a person of color, you kind of sometimes doubt yourself every now and then, but having gone to oliver, it makes you solidify yourself. >> i was eating and got sick.
>> makes sure you understand the best parts of yourself. >> do you speak chinese? are you fluent? >> four years into it. >> give me a little. [speaking chinese] >> every oliver scholar must complete at least 150 hours of community service. to have complete d a total of 42 hour of community service in the u.s. and abroad. >> sue haiti is one of f my all time favorite stupts. she's a leader. her decision to play on the football team. at riverdale. she is incredibly fearless and has made her mark here. >> it forces you to look into the future. >> la vi dva is getting the scholarship award. >> all of our experiences is truly a rare gem that every child deseves. >> you have an idea that this is what i want to do my future and these with the things i need to do to get help with it.
>> did you pick your college yet? >> going to yale. >> oh my gosh. oh! yale! yale! she's going to yale! >> oliver opens those doors. to provide the foundation, the mentorship, the support, the tough love and knowing that the world is tough. >> anything can happen. literally anything can happen. i'm at this amazing juncture right now where this is the first time that i don't know what's coming next. >> and 99% of those oliver scholars go on to college. about a third of them enroll in ivy league schools. up next, fixing a smile. we head to colombia where one surgeon is repairing hundreds of cleft palates. going on at schwa. oh really? thank you clients? well jd power did just rank them highest in investor satisfaction with full service brokerage firms...again. and online equity trades are only $4.95... i mean you can't have low cost and be full service.
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allison met a surgeon in colombia who gives kids born with cleft palates a new smile and a new chance. ♪ >> you don't think about it when you can smile, but there's something about smiling that makes you approachable to other people. i'm allison. a smile actually really, really important. can i hold you? hi. see you at the medical center tomorrow. >> my name is maliso. medical director. i'm also a plastic surgeon volunteer. when you have a cleft palate, you cannot speak well, eat well. all the food is going through the nose. this is really a nightmare. we are right there and we fix it
and that's why we exist. >> how you doing? how you feeling today? need some help? i got involved with operation smile probably eight years ago and i learned about it through my friend, lisa lori. she had three sons born with facial abnormalities. even before i knew that cnn was going to do champions of change, i was going to be taking my twin daughters on this medical mission to colombia because i wanted them to see how life changing this surgery is. we're heading about two hours outside of bogota now. obviously you can see it's much more rural where we're going. we're going to meet juan. he's 8 years old. several years ago, he had the surgery. but he still needs services. he needs speech therapy and things like that. ol >> my life has changed a lot
because of the foundation. when we got, i feel better b and item real thankful because it's been so great. i love all the doctors that help me. i can speak now. >> truth is, if he hadn't dwoen to foundation like this, i can't imagine what his life would be because we wouldn't have had the means or the money for the surgeries. >> once upon a time, there were three little brothers. on a personal note, my daughters were born very prematurely, so i can relate to the idea of having a baby that suddenly needs more medical care than you ever expected. why wasn't the status quo in colombia good enough? >> the reality is that in the past, the children were hidden and no one knew the seriousness of the situation. since we came in, they've come
to know us and have lost that shame. >> and you're a volunteer. >> yes. of course. >> meaning you volunteer here and don't get paid. >> we don't get paid. but we get paid. more than money. and is more important. >> your life is going to be different in one hour from now. >> we're ready. watch iing a little 7-month-old baby have his face operated on and seeing the tubes in him and you know, scalpels, it was a lot. it's okay, sweetie. and then watching samuel come out of an es thesthesia. and open his eyes an become
alert an carrying him to his mom. it was really intense. oh my gosh, what an angel. look at this little angelic face. you did it. great job, doc. >> okay. >> okay. want to go see mommy? let's go see mommy. he did so well. he did perfectly. it's just really amazing to see how in a space of one hour, these little children's lives can be changed and their families and their mothers and everything can be so happy. it's just really, really inspiring. >> yummy. >> obviously our champion for change, he's done this for 20 years and has no plans to stop because he doesn't want one child left behind with a cleft palate. >> i don't feel like i am a
champion of anything. i feel all these kids changed my life. >> it's the very best of medicine. a relatively simple operation that completely transforms a child's life. it was so great i think that allison could take her daughters on that journey as well. wolf blitzer is one of our net work's most loved anchor. last summer, his mother passed away after years of struggling with dementia, so his challenge for change is dr. crystal. he heads a new therapy that uses viruses to fight it. it has yet to go through the human trials. it may not work, but if it does, it could help treat one of our midwest feared diseases. you can watch his report online at cnn.com/champions where you can meet erin burnett's champion for chain change f she profiles the brave women behind safe
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my friend is at home on the saddle as she is in the anchor desk. her champion for change uses horses to help our veterans. >> can't get out of your head. getting out of your head is they are put nick itself. it's amazing to watch horses connect with people who have stuff going on. but for veterans in particular, it's a big, powerful animal that seems to understand them. >> how's it made a difference in your life? >> it's pretty much saved my life. going from a very dark place and not having a lot of people to talk to or people i was comfort bable talking to about all the
issues i had. >> for me rs it was just wabting to run from everything. which i did for a long time. a lot of sue siicidal thoughts. i still battle with them, but there's an outlet now. >> as you can see, fred's full report online at cnn.com/champions. anna cabrera picked a champion for change who focuses on trauma. she's focused on families facing pediatric canker aceancer. >> i feel sad because i feel -- feel -- >> how old are you? >> i am 13. >> so you're a teenager already. >> yeah. >> mikey wicker has spent nearly a quarter of his childhood fighting brain cancer. >> this side won't grow. because radiation. >> i like your mohawk.
that looks good. >> when mikey was almost finished his second fight, my husband was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. to have that person get is sick in front of you and watch them deteriorate as your son gets better is rielle, really tough. >> nine months after his diagnosis, michael sr. died. >> at that point, you feel like you can't breathe. but you still try your best to take care of everyone and keep your little kids going. >> seeing mikey immediately took me back to colorado. and made my me think of john, my brother. he was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was just 10 years old. the same kaind of cancer as mikey. >> doctors said they didn't have a cure at this time, so i was
taken back by that and i was like oh my, it looks kind of bleak for me. >> i remember feeling as a sibli sibling, very helpless. what were you thinking about in this picture? >> i don't know. i was just happy that you were here. >> i wanted to be b able to do something for him as he was struggling and suffering and yet there was very little i could do and i think that's what really led me to candle lighters. the day they found out their child had cancer is the darkest day of their hif, it helps bring them into the light! hi. >> where's the other one. i need a double hug. >> we needed that personal touch. that we are their best friends. >> hi! >> and their ours, too. we become family. >> candle lighters is really a unique organization. meets family where they need it most.
it may be a simple comfort or it might be a big wish. >> if we can just make a tiny bit of difference, it's enough. >> what did you see they can offer that wasn't there already? >> there's still nothing like candle lighters new york city. we're a family. ♪ you have a diaper a poopy diaper ♪ >> these families come from all over. they sit on my couch. play with my dog. lie down on the bed if they're tired. >> do you want to open it yourself or can i help open this one for you? >> oh, yeah. >> pick your head up for one second so we can get the collar working. oh, yeah. >> what does it feel like to be able to help families in that way? >> feels like a fairy god mother. >> is that better? have to be proper. when you're a cop, you have to be proper! able to make little wishes come
true every day. >> officially a police officer. please welcome peck m peterson. >> new york city is so rich. we share with them and we want all of new york city to feel the good feelings that we feel. >> that's a very cool picture. is that you at the knicks game? >> yes. >> for mikey and his siblings, it was an unforgettable night court side at a knicks basketball game. >> smiling. >> for his mom, simply an hour of pampering. dpl such>> such a nice treat to glass of champagne, to get my hair washed and get it done for me. it was just so nice to breathe again. >> barbara is a champion for these kids with cancer. barbara is a champion for their families. >> i love you more than anything in the whole wide world.
>> i could spend all of my life just cry but i'd be under a blanket and not helping anyone, so instead you're making something with that. >> i'm turning crappy into happy. >> ana, what a powerful piece. thanks for sharing that. i'm an older sibling so the connection really struck me. how is john doing? >> he's doing all right. you know. he is such a resilient person and such a fighter and he's one of my heroes. he's been impacted long-term because of his brain cancer. the amount of radiation that his brain received. he's a survivor. he's 17 years now in remission, which is hunge. >> i'm struck especially as a doctor, you focus on the treatments. the radiation operation, what's necessary, but all this other stuff that this organization does. who would do it if not for organizations like them. >> exactly. it's about helping the soul go
through this journey and i think that's what barbara makes this all about. the person and help iing to kee their spirits up because these children are to be brave. these fam ilies have to just endure. the it's just an intense situation to go through this and a family and then to have to do it in a place that's not close to home. that's not where your comfort zone is. in a place like new york city, which can be extremely overwhelming for people to visit. people from kentucky, utah, san diego, from other places around the country. so barbara makes it easier. she likes to say these kid need a break from being brave. i want them to feel like kid. she gets so much swroi. candle lighters get so much joy in being able to give a child a smile. turn crappy into happy. what a pleasure. give john my best. >> and when our colleague, his family first settled in the united states, his great uncle's
found this place to fit in. it was boston's west end house. now three generations later, that youth center is still this important place for young immigrants. how has the make up of the kids who use this changed? >> we're supporting people from all over the world. it's a new need, but in reality, thest the same. >> they offer 1600 kids and teens a home away from home. a place to learn new kids, succeed in school and create lasting friendships. >> up next, i'll introduce you to my champion for change. it involves a problem we all see and we can all fix.
. one of the most distressing issues i report on is hunger. i don't get it. consider this, in the united states these two problems happening at the same time. lots of people going hungry and lots of people going to waste. when i first heard the story i'm about to tell you, i didn't believe it. it starts with these adorable
children. four out of five kids are food insecure, not sure if or when they will get their next meal. covering hunger, wide spread, famine have been the most emotion nolly tough stories i cover. >> welcome to sgmed, the front lines of famine. in one of the largest refugee camps in the world. >> i was not ready to leave how bad the problem was. what is happening in the united states is not a famine but 1 in 6 children struggle with hunger. >> poverty lives next door. it can happen to anybody. due to a catastrophic event that you're not expecting. >> and the face of hunger might surprise you. it surprised me. charity mills, mother of five. her husband, back in grad school retraining after the recession.
every meal dependent on the generosity of others. >> there was a time we were 100% dependent on it and that was is difficult time. >> so today, the organization feeding america is all about feeding charity mills and her family. >> do you do this every morning? >> yes. >> it is incredible work. >> i love. >> it here in colorado springs, we are on a mission to collect food that might go to waste. >> there is food that will be picked up today that will help feed people tonight. >> yes, sir. >> 40% of food goes to waste in this country. how do you live in a society where 40% of food goes to waste and people are hungry. >> when people recognize the waste that happens in the field,
on the docks, in stores and peoples homes, they will feel empowered to do something about it. >> we bring back almost 1,000 pounds of food to be inspected and sorted and a lot of it lasts longer than you think. >> that's the biggest surprise. that meat in a can will last that long. 5 years after the expiration date. >> i didn't know that. >> when you spend time in places like feeding america and meet the volunteers, you realize, everybody here has a story about hunger. like my champion for change, mary lash. >> i know the pain and sadness. you're scared to say anything. my parents worked at a five-star resort in the poconos and my dad a a chef and because of abuse
and neglect, he didn't feed his own kids but hundreds of people daily. >> how much of what you went through is part of what you are doing now. >> that is what drives me. if i can make a difference in one child's life a day, i feel that my work is done. >> this is it. this is feeding america. it feels like you are doing something worthwhile. >> so we're going to dig potatoes and this is what a potato plant looks like. >> this is it. >> people forget food comes from the ground sometimes. >> it's amazing. >> he is my commanding officer today at this farm in san antonio. >> we have this basket full of stuff that we harvested this morning. >> pretty good looking p produc
>> fantastic. >> the food we are pacing out is food that might have otherwise gone to waste. >> when i get those food bags, they are really heavy and that heaviness is love. >> it is hard to hear about these kids. you can't believe that kid is hungry and they are taking food home for their family. it is a lot of responsibility and you know, it's like we can do better. >> it's the reason i wanted to tell the story of feeding america. the organization's president. >> i think it is a solvable problem and we are working at scale to solve that problem to get food from every u.s. food supply chain where there is surplus food to get it to people
who need it most. >> people like charity mills. the food we picked up earlier made its way to the pant spri to charity's home. >> tonight is the spaghetti which is a typical family male for us. >> you got the science test back today. that is good. >> have you ever stepped back and thought about how many people you helped feed? >> i haven't. but i don't feel like it has been enough. so however long i can help i will do it. >> i should point out feeding america was called second harvest. they collect the fruits and vegetables that nobody wanted. it is called gleaning. it can feed a lot of people. resolve to eat uglyier fruits and vegetables and you too can help feed america. if you want to see more amazing
stories. go to c inn.com/champions. be a rule breaker when it is necessary. maybe you can be inspired to become a champion for change as well. thank you for watching. i'm dr. sanjay gupta. good night. >> anthony: peru is a country that's historically driven men mad, mad for gold, for coca, for its magical, ancient history. but now, there's something else drawing outsiders to its hidden mountain valleys. we love this stuff. we obsess about it, gorge on it and fetishize it. i'm talking about chocolate. once a common treat, it's now becoming as nuanced as fine wine, making the pursuit of the raw, good stuff all the more difficult.