Adoption Is a Gift of Life

February 12, 2016
Hosted by Nelinia Varenas

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Episode Description

Bal Jagat is a Hindi phrase meaning “Children’s World” and represents the organization's dedication to uniting children around the world with loving parents in the United States. Bal Jagat is a Hague Accredited international adoption agency and has been facilitating the creation of intercountry families for over 30 years, operating under the premise that "adoption is a gift of life." The adoption services extend to families throughout Southern California as well as nationwide. Bal Jagat has helped permanently place over 5,000 children with American parents. Most of these children have challenges that make it difficult to find homes in their native countries, and with the resources in the United States, they are able to be cared for adequately. In this segment, we will uncover the compassion and the realities of intercountry adoption through the eyes of Bal Jagat's Director of Social Services and daughter of the agency's founder, Mausami Momaya.

Your Why

Your Why

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Why do people decide to take a bold action or to do nothing? This smart, spirited and fun show takes you on an inspiring tour through the life-defining experiences of remarkable people who, with grace, selfless purpose, vision and drive, have saved lives, infused hope and provided critical help to others. These true stories delve into the thoughts, perspectives and emotions of guest speakers as they juggled decisions that ultimately altered lives of others for better. Provocative and yet sincere questions will reveal motivating touchstones for you as you apply what you hear to your own life. Our program is designed to provide authentic, frank, and at times humorous conversations. The undercurrent of the program is to help you expand the legacy that you leave in your wake and to become an inspiration and a beacon of joyful living to others.

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Nelinia Varenas

Nelinia Varenas

Nelinia’s parents immigrated to the United States with the dream of living a life of which they could be proud and that would grant fulfilling opportunities, happiness and intrinsic satisfaction. Nelinia’s father and mother instilled the values of integrity, responsibility, respectfulness, curiosity, knowledge, sacrifice and hard work. Throughout her life, Nelinia has surrounded herself with role models who encouraged her to set high standards, achieve and succeed. These same role models also helped her evolve into the caring and compassionate person she is today. Nelinia is committed to helping people in the same way that she was helped: through encouragement, kindness, selflessness and vision. As a perennial student of life and boundless optimist, Nelinia stays engaged with people in all walks of life. She is a member of Rotary International, Junior League, the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Toastmasters International and Business Networking International.

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Episode Directory

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

Daniel Armstrong

Daniel Armstrong is a dream coach, author and motivational speaker. Daniel’s mission is to inspire and mentor, both youth and adults, to pursue and actualize their dreams. Daniel Armstrong earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Columbia University in New York City. At Columbia, Armstrong was the founding chairman of the Coalition for a Free South Africa, an organization whose four-year campaign resulted in Columbia divesting from corporations operating in apartheid South Africa. Armstrong earned his Master’s degree in Business Administration and Juris Doctorate both from UCLA. He is also a Ford Foundation Fellow, having studied youth development in Zimbabwe, where he organized a national tour by the Harlem Magicians, an American basketball team. The tour’s opening night game was the largest multi-racial gathering, at that point, in Zimbabwe’s then brief history, following twenty years of civil war. View Guest page

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Brian Chou, Esq. MBA

Brian Y. Chou is a successful attorney whose practice focuses on asset protection, estate planning, and business succession planning. In addition to working with clients to protect and transition their assets, Mr. Chou actively seeks to be a resource in all aspects of their lives. He is well-connected with contacts in virtually every industry and line of business in America. If you need a plumber to fix a clogged drain, a CPA to review your tax issues, or a moving company to help you relocate, Brian can refer a highly qualified professional who also provides excellent customer service. Brian is an accomplished communicator and is interested in people and their lives. His other interests include public speaking, teaching, surfing, basketball, tennis, jogging, drawing, and cooking. View Guest page

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Chaplain Euvonka Farabee

Chaplain Euvonka Farabee is a Chicago native, and moved to Los Angeles to attend Mount St. Mary’s College where she earned a B.A. in Business Administration with a Management emphasis. After graduating, Euvonka’s corporate and entrepreneurial career has given her the opportunity to advise many business owners that range from “C-Suite” level corporate executives to, “Mom and Pop” small business owners in various industries for over 25 years. As an ordained prison chaplain, Euvonka’s latest assignment as Field Director for Prison Fellowship Ministries sends her into the State and Federal prisons of Los Angeles County and the Antelope Valley to provide educational resources to incarcerated men and women and their families. These spiritually-centered programs provide practical resources, as well as hope for a bright, more successful future. View Guest page

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Terry Geiling

When Terry Geiling took his first assignment as a young man aboard a submarine in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, he knew he was about to embark on a mission of courage, duty and honor. His mission, forever grounded in his dedication to duty, continues to this day as a visionary business and community leader, philanthropist, family man, proud veteran, and entrepreneur. One of Terry’s most important missions began when he took the post of President and CEO of the American Gold Star Manor, a senior retirement facility for mothers who have lost children in the line of duty and for U.S. veterans. He is also a founding board member of the Jonas Project, which helps turn veteran-entrepreneurs into high-impact business leaders. Terry is a past president of the Rotary Club of Long Beach. He is on the local Boards of Saint Mary Medical Center and is Vice President of the Foundation that raised all the funds required to bring a much needed Fisher House to the grounds of the Long Beach VA hospital. View Guest page

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Dr. Daniel Hoover

Dr. Daniel Hoover has a rare combination of skills and knowledge. He is a doctor of Chiropractic, Licensed Acupuncturist, Master Herbalist, 5th degree black belt in Shaolin Kempo, and the Chief Tai Chi Chuan instructor at the School of Healing Martial Arts™. Dr. Hoover founded SOHMA Integrative Health Center on the premise of providing "exceptional patient-centered healthcare services that combine ancient wisdom with modern practices and research.” Further, this "integrated approach is analogous to the interrelationship between Yin (healing energy) and Yang (martial energy). The Yin branch of the center is the SOHMA integrative health clinic, which provides: Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Eastern Medicine, and Herbal Pharmacy. The Yang branch is the School of Healing Martial Arts.” View Guest page

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Julia Kadish

Julia is a California native whose bi-coastal childhood was shared between California and Connecticut, but her heart has always been with the California sunshine. Julia resides in North Orange County, California. Julia is an acclaimed event planner who owns Next Level Occasions, a unique event production company that focuses on uniquely themed events, fundraisers, social occasions, weddings, and corporate events. Her events have been published nationally, in publications such as Brides Magazine, California Wedding Day, Catering Magazine, and Rock N’ Roll Bride. Julia is also the co-founder of EventCompass, a cloud-based event planning software application designed to improve professionalism, increase efficiencies, and enhance client experiences. In addition to her work in the events industry, Julia is an accomplished artist who works mainly with acrylic and oil paints. Julia's patrons have been purchasing her works since she was a pre-teen. View Guest page

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Walter Larkins


Walter Larkins is a highly successful entrepreneur with over 25 years of small business development experience. He holds several US and international patents that are issued or pending. Walter serves as board member, director, commissioner, or member for countless non-profit organizations that are focused on economic and community development, job creation, education, and human rights. He is also a member of the White House Business Council. One of the non-profit organizations in which Walter is currently the Executive Director is the E=O2™ Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to guide and incentivize "at-risk" eighth grade students to do well in school and strive to expand their range of opportunities. Walter is currently President of CDR Benefits and Insurance Services and CDR Financial Services, both headquartered in Long Beach, California. He continues to be deeply involved with the business community at many levels. View Guest page

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Mausami Momaya

Mausami Momaya is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, having earned this distinction in 2004. She also has a Master of Social Work and her thesis was entitled "Motivation Towards International Adoption. Mausami joined her mother's agency in 2001 to match hopeful parents in the United States with children in other countries who were having difficulty finding adoptive families in their homeland. Mausami's dedication and compassionate work have been recognized with the 2015 Woman of Distinction Award from Assembly Pat O'Donnell, the 2015 US House of Representatives Certificate of Recognition from Congressman Alan Lowenthal, and the 2015 Certificate of Congressional Recognition from Congresswoman, Janice Hahn. View Guest page

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Val Parker

Val joined Power4Youth as Program Coordinator at the program’s inception in the summer of 1999 as the first staff member to join the team. After Power 4 Youth became its own 501(c)(3), Val was promoted to Executive Director. Her professional background consists of over twenty-five years in the non-profit volunteer management field, working primarily with youth-serving agencies. Most notably, Val worked for the Orange County Girl Scout Council, one of the largest Councils in the United States, where she served as Director of Membership Extension. She has held positions with the 4-H Youth Program, Balin Technical School and Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Department. Val holds a B.A. degree from California State University Long Beach in Home Economics, with emphasis on child and family development. View Guest page

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Dan Salas


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[The photograph is courtesy of the Torrance Daily Breeze.] View Guest page

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J.T. Warring was one of the original founding equity partners and former Vice-President of Korn Ferry. On behalf of Rotary, an organization that has inspired his service for over 42 years, he led a team that produced a video documentary entitled "Aftermath of a Tsunami" in the wake of the Biblical-scale disaster which befell a dozen countries of East and South Asia on December 26, 2004. While visiting Myanmar, or Burma, J.T. consulted with medical doctors of the "Myanmar Compassion Project" and designed a water-management system that has a life of 50-60 years at a modest cost of US $9,000. At friend, Madame Aung San Suu Kyi's request, J.T. is now overseeing the construction of similar systems for entire villages. J.T. continues serving people in need around the globe. View Guest page

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