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   WZM Award for Compassion 


WZM Award


WZM Award presented to Keilana Truong on May 18, 2017 - Pasadena High School










Compassion is not just having pity for another's sufferings and misfortunes, but actually doing something that mitigates their pain. Many people may say they have compassion towards others but fail to grant them assistance. To me, compassion means seeing another person in need and doing all that you can to alleviate their sufferings. Altruistically putting the needs of others above your own is how I distinguish it.

The most memorable incident in which I have felt compassion was when I took part in an outreach program in Ensenada, Mexico. During our stay, we visited numerous orphanages and were able to play with the kids. Automatically, the children became attached to us. Many of the kids just wanted to be loved and to know that there were people who care for them. The amount of hugs and laughs were countless. In this case, all that the children needed was love and affection which wasn’t hard to deliver. Little things like being picked up and swung around drove them crazy. Filling their need was not difficult and proved to be unforgettable. Also on the trip, we visited a migrant camp occupied by the families of those who worked in farm fields. Seeing houses made out of sheet metal and dirt floors, I knew there had to be something we could do. We have traveled down three times now, and each time we try our best to fulfill another need. We initially brought them a bag full of essential groceries, but this past year we were able to sew warm blankets and knit plastic mats for each household as well. The look on their faces and their gracious attitudes made all the time and effort put into the blankets and mats worthwhile. Those who you are compassionate towards, aren’t the only ones receiving something. Helping someone else and making their situation slightly better, humbles the giver and allows them to feel that they are capable of change.

I am very compassionate towards those who are unable to fix their situation that I want to pursue a career that is devoted to helping them. After finishing my schooling, I plan on heading to grad school to study law and becoming an attorney for the California Innocence Project. The California Innocence Project works to exonerate and free unjustly imprisoned victims. It is utterly unequitable for someone to be punished for a crime they did not commit then on top of it, not be able to do anything about it. That is why I want to dedicate my life in bringing justice to those falsely convicted. It is that desire that motivates me to help someone when in need. If the roles were switched everyone knows that they would be beyond grateful to whoever would sacrifice their time to ease their suffering.



Ruth Ratna Handy, LCSW
(818) 834-5925


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