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   WZM Award for Compassion 


WZM Award





WZM Award presented to Lorena Diaz Maya - JAMES A. GARFIELD HIGH SCHOOL







As a young adult, I find myself carrying various interests. However, there is one thing I find myself being much more passionate about and that is showing compassion. I strongly believe that compassion can be shown to more than just humans. For as long as I could remember, I’ve loved animals. Once I entered high school I wanted to find different ways to give back to my community. I asked myself how I could play a part in bettering my community. I began volunteering for North Central Animal Shelter, in association with the Los Angeles Animal Services in December of 2018. The process of becoming an animal shelter volunteer requires submitting an application, rigorous paperwork, and attendance of multiple meetings. The process to become a volunteer at an animal shelter was time consuming but I was determined to become an active volunteer in my community. Thanks to volunteering, I have developed skills such as: customer service, time management skills, and communication skills. I have taken this opportunity and learned how to balance my school work with extracurriculars, all meanwhile accomodating to a workplace. I gave up my Saturday and Sunday mornings to be able to work with animals who need the support that they deserve. It is important for me to wisely use my time to help make a difference. Throughout this experience, I have cultivated myself into becoming a resilient individual. It is of great importance for me to make a difference in the lives of the animals, as well as bring joy to the families by helping them adopt a life-long companion. I am a firm believer of helping those who cannot speak for themselves. Volunteering has helped me find my “purpose” in life. I believe that my purpose is to simply bring happiness into other individuals' lives. In my eyes, I see compassion as the foundation to creating and building meaningful relationships. If everyone in our society showed compassion to each other, our world would be filled with well-rounded human beings who approach things with respect. My experiences as an animal shelter volunteer have been rewarding . Thanks to this opportunity I have gained valuable skills, but more importantly I am able to have a positive impact on the lives of many animals and families as well. My goal is to continue practicing kindness while focusing primarily on bringing joy to the lives of many.


Ruth Ratna Handy, LCSW
(818) 834-5925


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