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   WZM Award for Compassion 


WZM Award





WZM Award presented to Vanessa Vazquez - JAMES A. GARFIELD HIGH SCHOOL








Compassion as a way of life

Compassion is helping those who have lost themselves due to obstacles in their lives; doing little thigs that can bring a smile to someone’s face, lifting sad spirits. Compassion is helping someone out without expecting anything in return. Compassion is being there for someone even when they do not ask for help. Compassion is where everyone leaves their differences aside and connect with one another. This is important in our society today because it is what will help us overcome these current difficult times. During the pandemic today which is COVID-19 people from all over the world are working with one another to help those who are infected with the virus, saving lives, no matter the race, color, or beliefs. They help those who lost their jobs by organizing food drives to feed hungry families. Medical staff risk their health to save other lives who have COVID showing their kindness and selflessness.

When I was 9 years old my mom was involved in an accident which put her in a vegetative state. The doctors gave us little to no hope, but we believed she was going to get better. She was hospitalized in a long-term care unit at Pacifica Hospital of the Valley where she stayed for 8 years. This life experience has taught me to have compassion because my mom was surrounded by many patients in a similar state. This broke my heart because some have been there for many years, and some did not have family who would visit them. My father and I wanted to do something for these patients. Every Christmas, and New Year’s Day we used our musical talent and went around the hospital to sing to the patients. Even with a simple gesture the patients outlook would change. They would smile, laugh, and were very grateful that we were spending family time with them. My mom has recently passed away, but we will continue to show compassion in memory of her. We grew fond of them and they feel like a part of my family.

This life experience and the pandemic of COVID-19 has inspired me to pursue a career in nursing. The nurses that took care of my mom showed compassion toward her and to the other patients. Nurses in the front lines fighting against COVID-19 show compassion by sacrificing their lives to help other people. It would be an honor to become a compassionate nurse and be able to save lives.just like many others and myself have and learned the meaning of compassion through helping people comprehend the emotions behind words and identifying the different levels and emotions that a person can have.



Ruth Ratna Handy, LCSW
(818) 834-5925


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