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   WZM Award for Compassion 


WZM Award





WZM Award presented to Caitlin Lopez on May 16, 2019 - Pasadena High School








Compassion Essay

Towards the end of my eighth grade year, I was trying to decide what I would do during the summer before high school. I remembered my science teacher mentioning that he was teaching a robotics class over the summer and needed class helpers. I had been involved with robotics for two years and had a lot of fun doing it, so I figured that this would be a relatively easy job. I signed up as a volunteer, and a few weeks later, the first day of class arrived.

During class, one of the students raised their hand, ready to ask a question. He was having trouble putting together his robot, even though he had the instructions with him. I didnít understand how someone couldnít understand these instructions, after all, it was meant for kids. This happened a couple more times throughout the day, and I began to realize that this task was not as simple as I thought it was. That summer I learned how to be more compassionate towards others, by listening to what these kids had to say and trying to understand their point of view. I enjoyed volunteering for this Pasadena Educational Foundation class, and returned the following year to help my teacher with his classes.

About two years ago, a friend of mine at church asked me if I would be interested in volunteering for our churchís religious education classes. It was only about two hours a week, so I decided I would give it a chance. I was assigned to help out with the fourth and fifth grade class, and luckily my friend was the teacher. At first I was just in charge of setting up the class materials and then cleaning up afterwards. Later on, the kids started to do more complex activities, and thus needed more help with doing them. Most of the kids were able to manage on their own, but there were a few that required extra attention. Learning to be patient with these students was sometimes a challenge, but rewarding. Iíll never forget the positive impact these last two years of volunteering have had on me.

Not only have I had to practice compassion in the classroom, but I have also done so at home. I have three younger sisters, and oftentimes need to babysit them while my parents are at work. It is even more difficult to practice compassion when your siblings are unwilling to help out around the house, but nonetheless I try to be sympathetic towards my siblings. Doing this has reinforced the responsibility I have of being a good example for my siblings.

Learning to practice compassion has been difficult task at times, but at the end of the day it is a crucial part of our everyday lives. If more people practiced compassion on a regular basis, the world would definitely be a better, more peaceful place.



Ruth Ratna Handy, LCSW
(818) 834-5925


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