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   WZM Award for Compassion 




WZM Award presented on June 7, 2010 to Carolina Trigueros, Pasadena High School






by Carolina Trigueros

In this society, it is very hard to meet people who will show compassion to those in need. I have always believed that it is important to show compassion to others, however, because that way, you give people hope. It is not enough to be sympathetic or just understanding. You have to have a deep understanding of what the other person is going through and want, have a desire, to alleviate the pain.

I was born into a six-children, low-income household. Growing up with five siblings, three of which are younger than me, and seeing my parents struggle with working two jobs or getting laid-off and still trying to make ends meet all my life, has instilled in me the need to help others. All my life I have always tried to help my parents by taking care of my younger siblings. I help them with homework and anything else whenever my parents aren’t home to do it. Helping out has taught me to care for and think of others.

My compassion comes from my heartfelt desire to help others, especially children. That is why, I decided to volunteer at Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters, which is an agency serving children who are mostly from low-income and single parent homes or families where a parent is incarcerated, in my community. I was matched with a 7 year old girl and became her mentor. I would go twice a week and get together with her. At first, she was very shy and would hardly talk. Over time, however, she opened up to me and we became really good friends. I would help her with homework and other small projects. And I helped her learn to be more outgoing. She had trouble at home and I would listen and just talk to her. Sometimes that is all a person needs, especially kids: someone who will just listen to them and not brush off their problems because they are children.

I have also volunteered at my elementary and middle schools. At Willard Elementary School, I would go to a class room in the mornings and help the teacher. I was like a student aide and I really enjoyed it. I love working with children and helping them learn. I also volunteered at Wilson Middle School on Saturdays at the Pasadena Yes program, where children can play different sports. I love encouraging children to do their bests and help them learn to play. Sometimes playing sports is the only way for kids to let go completely and just have fun. I enjoy having a part in that. I like to help children, not because I can get credit or ask for something in return, I just love making children happy and helping them succeed.

Showing compassion comes naturally for some people and not for others. It is the people to whom it doesn’t that one should show kindness to. By being kind to others, even those who aren’t, you can show others to be kind and show compassion. And by doing so, you can make our society a better, easier place to live. A place where children can have hope that they will succeed with the help of those around them.


Ruth Ratna Handy, LCSW
(818) 834-5925


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