Above: Bob Schwalb receiving the HEART of Gold Award from Chicago board member, Ashley Craig.
By Bob Schwalb
In 2005, I moved to NYC to become HEART’s first humane education instructor. Three years later I moved back to my hometown of Chicago and helped establish the HEART program here.
HEART has given me much to be grateful for. My coworkers whom I worked side-by-side with inspired me with their knowledge and passion for compassionate principles. The volunteer advisory board and young professional board selflessly gave of their time to ensure the sustainability of our program. The generosity of the numerous volunteers and donors helped make it possible for us to accomplish much with very little. And, of course, the many young people I had the privilege of teaching who will hopefully carry and nurture the seeds of compassion I tried to plant.
At the end of 2013, I will be stepping down as the program director of HEART Chicago. As I move on, I plan to stay involved with HEART in different ways. To everyone who has been a part of HEART and a part of my life, thank you. I leave confident that we have a team in place that will enable HEART Chicago to continue to grow and make a huge impact on the youth of Chicago in the years ahead.
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The HEART staff couldn’t just let Bob go without giving their own special thank you messages. Bob’s work is at the core of all of HEART’s programming. We wouldn’t be where we are without him.
Bob, you have been such an important part of HEART’s history and an inspiration to all who have had the pleasure of working with you. Thank you for everything and best of luck in the years ahead. We hope you will stay in touch and remain part of the HEART family.
– Brad Goldberg, Chair
Bob, thank you for building a strong foundation for HEART and for being such an inspiration to your students and colleagues. I’ve learned so much from you since we began working together 8 years ago. You have touched my life deeply and I’ll miss you very much. You’re an extraordinary person and I wish you only the very best!
-Meena Alagappan, Executive Director
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with you for the past few years. Under your guidance, I’ve advanced immensely as an educator and as a person. Your passion for humane education inspires me everyday. Thank you for everything.
– Mickey Kudia, Humane Education Instructor
Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I owe my professional career to you. Not only did you recognize my desire to be a part of something as powerful and promising as HEART and humane education, but you also modeled what it means to be a compassionate leader.
– Leona Sepulveda Less, Humane Education Instructor
Thank you for all your contributions to HEART and for being a leader who we could all look up to. When I first started working for HEART I heard one of your students say, “Ever since Mr. Bob stepped into my classroom he changed my life…every time I do something I think of Mr. Bob.” I was inspired by the impact that you had on your students. You are an exemplary example of what being a humane educator is all about, both inside and outside the classroom. Thank you for your dedication to creating a more peaceful and just society. We will miss you so much, but I know you will continue to do wonderful work in the world, making it a more humane place for all.
– Kim Korona, Humane Education Instructor and Program Coordinator
I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for everything you have taught me over the years. After all, when I first started teaching at HEART you were the person I shadowed! Now that you’re leaving I find myself thinking about the thousands of students who you have taught and wonder what they are doing now. My guess would be changing the world for the better, because that’s your gift, inspiring others to make a difference. The truth is, HEART wouldn’t be what it is today without you. You will be missed.
– Ali Berman, Humane Education Instructor
If humane education is living in alignment with our values, Bob, to me, is the embodiment of this work, this life, and this ethic. He oozes kindness and understanding but is firm in his commitment to making this world a better place. Bob’s work has helped countless lives and I am proud to call him a colleague and friend. You have inspired so much thought and kindness and have built a powerful presence for humane education. We will miss you, but know that you are off to exciting and wonderful things! Here’s to new adventures!
– Kristina Hulvershorn, Humane Education Instructor and Indianapolis Program Director
You are one of the rare ones indeed
Living by his beautiful creed
Reaching young people with a message of compassion, empathy and respect
You will go onto to do wonderful things I would bet
Your legacy is felt here at HEART and by me
Forever grateful are the animals, humanity, trees and sea
Once a humane educator always a humane educator
Carry that in your heart, you visionary, committed man and creator
– Dani Dennenburg, Humane Education Instructor and Portland Program Director