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   WZM Award for Compassion 


WZM Award


WZM Award presented on
May 29, 2013 to Anthony Juarez, Jefferson High School












Many people might find compassion in the littlest of things. I don’t see how if they themselves can’t show compassion. I understand that people need to find some type of a sense of closeness with someone else. They need a sense of belonging and want to feel as if they are needed. I understand what it feels like. I am the type of person that loves to be loved, but I don’t openly look for it. If someone attempts to enter my circle of love I might push them away, but I feel horrible because I know I might be pushing away a potential life-long friend.

One day I met a person that was so hard to push away and eventually I gave in. I met him in sixth grade and to this day he is still my best friend. For seven very long years, he’s been there through thick and thin. In my moments of triumph and shame. This person has never left my side and continues to ride along side me even though the roads can be treacherous. During my time in middle school and the beginning of high school, I was having problems. He was there day after day attempting to keep my spirit high and my morale intact. As much as I tried pushing him away, he just stood by me and never let me spend a single day alone. After football practice and band practice I found myself at his house playing games, eating food and enjoying late night skateboard rides out in the town. I didn’t understand what the true meaning of friendship was until he came along. I don’t understand exactly how we became best friends but I don’t question it. I know that it happened because I opened myself up to him and allowed him to stick around. I never thought I was capable of positive human interaction if it didn’t involve friendly gestures and “hellos” or “how was you day?” This first taste of a sense of belonging allowed me to open myself up to more people. I am still a bit insensitive when it comes to certain people and the way I act around them, but I try to watch what I do and how I approach them. My problem was that I didn’t try being friendly to most people. I always brushed everyone off and treated them as if they were unimportant. If they didn’t have something I needed and I had nothing to offer them, I never paid them any mind. This one person changed my outlook on life and the way I treat people.

I now allow all types of people to become my friends rather than pushing them away and alienating myself. His years of kindness and generosity towards me, while being my friend, has allowed me to become a more positive person with a brighter outlook on life. As I see myself, I am a college bound high school senior ready to face the challenges the world as to throw at me.



Ruth Ratna Handy, LCSW
(818) 834-5925


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