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   WZM Award for Compassion 


Ruth Handy  presenting WZM  Award for Compassion


WZM Award # 10 Presented on June 2, 2008 to Oscar Valle of Pasadena High School









by Oscar Valle

As a student I know that school can be challenging and often times we feel as though we have no one to turn to for help. For this reason I decided to join the tutoring program at my high school in order to help students with their work and show them that they can make it through high school if they just work hard. When you show compassion to others it should not be to satisfy your own selfish goals of becoming morally righteous but to help others who are in need. We must all show compassion to others, regardless if we receive praise or not. My greatest reward is seeing a student’s face light up when they can answer a problem they normally would have given up on. I enjoy interacting with the students and helping them with their English homework. The students I tutor are minority students and many have no aspirations of going to college. Giving them some understanding of their class work may give them the confidence they need to graduate from high school and go to college.

I remember my freshman year, a very good friend of mine lost her father and his passing was very difficult for her. This was a big shock to me as well because she was a really good friend to me and I did not want to see her so hurt. I did not know what to say to her at first because I had never experienced a loss so great. I knew that she would need someone and I was more than willing to be there for her. I knew the best thing I could do for her was to listen and talk to her. It was difficult finding the right things to say to her but I knew I had to console her because she meant a lot to me. When she needed someone to talk to I was more than happy to be there and help her in any way I could. Never once did I think of helping her to make myself feel good but rather I saw a friend who needed me and I was glad I could make her feel better even if it was only for that moment.

My senior year I was extremely honored to be named captain of my cross-country team, but it was not easy for me to get there. My first year on the team, I was new to running and three miles seemed like an eternity. With the help and leadership of my teammates I was able to get through my first year and I was ready to come back for a second. However my determination exceeded my physical abilities, because an injury I received in my knee prevented me from running for the entire season. For that season all I could do was watch and wait for my time to come. With the help of my former teammates I trained hard all summer long, seven days a week. By the time the season came around, I was in the best shape of my life and running at a level I never thought I would achieve a year ago. I was named captain and I knew that I would have a big responsibility to my coach and my team. We had many new guys on the team and I had to assume a leadership role in order to help my team get better. Often times my teammates would be disappointed with a race but I talked to them and explained to them that if they worked hard they would improve. I cannot express how proud I am of my teammates for what they accomplished this year. Most of my teammates were first year runners but by the end of the season they looked like they had been running all their lives. I do not want to take credit for their achievements but I am glad that I was a part of it. I feel that being captain of my team made me grow as a person and gave me a maturity I did not have before.


Ruth Ratna Handy, LCSW
(818) 834-5925


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