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   WZM Award for Compassion 


Ruth Handy  presenting WZM  Award for Compassion


WZM Award # 17 Presented on June 10, 2009 to Esther Rubio, Jefferson High School.






by Esther Rubio

My life has been met with challenges and experiences that I will never forget. Deep in my mind is a memory of a girl named Ashley. It was a chilly, October night. As I lay relaxing in my warm bed watching television for what seemed like only a few minutes, I heard the sound of loud, piercing firecrackers. I must have heard that sound a thousand times, but this night it was different.

My brother came running inside the house seconds later, screaming, “There’s somebody in the street!” I ran out to see what had happened. There she was, lying in the middle of the street, cars racing by, not even realizing that a human life laid there in pain. Without hesitation, we called for an ambulance. As my sister lay holding her hand, I kept talking to her, hoping to keep her awake and alive. Thoughts raced through my mind, what am I going to do? She said “Call my mom” these words played over and over again in my mind.

At the moment, I began to tremble. My hands, shaking as I slowly opened my cell phone to dial, my throat tightened so much that I couldn’t breathe. I dialed 231-…… with a scared feeling (the number that Ashley had given me to dial). Tears rolled down my cheeks as thoughts raced through my mind. I had to tell Ashley’s mother that her child had been shot in the back by a gang member.

Later that evening, as I lay in my warm bed, I wondered what if that had been me in the street? Would someone come to my rescue or would I die there on the street all alone with no one around? An overwhelming feeling of sadness came over me. I realized that life is a gift and it should be taken care of.

The community I live in may have many problems but complaining is not going to bring change. That is why I’m involved in my church and the community and in my school. I am currently the youth secretary of my church. As a leader I do my best. We have visited a convalescent home, where we really had the chance to get to know the elder people. We have also fundraised to help the church. In school I was in the Peer mediation program. I was a mentor and helped other students deal with issues they were having with each other. I am currently in a program called Fox Journey to Excellence and as a member I had the chance to play and interact with children while their parents were receiving classes. I believe that giving back to the community is important and I really enjoy it. Compassion comes from the heart and everything I do I do with my heart. I truly believe that kindness begins with one’s self.


Ruth Ratna Handy, LCSW
(818) 834-5925


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