“I had a class in Abnormal Psychology with Professor Hart, and he was, without a doubt, one of the best teachers I ever had.”
There’s a small hand reaching out in desperate need of human contact. It’s the hand of a child with cancer; more often than not, terminal. But that little person finds solace and hope when that hand is clasped by Yorda Paez. “Children in these situations are very vulnerable, but are also extremely aware of what’s going on. I mean, dying is a part of life; a very tough part. And I just feel that it’s a real honor for me to be there for them, and to help them and their families through what can be an absolutely traumatic experience.”
Yorda currently works at USC’s Childcare Center, and will soon be making her permanent home there as a transfer student and—ultimately—as a therapist in USC’s hospital. “I thoroughly enjoy my work, and whatever happens in the future will certainly involve children, because I just love them. I’m already a volunteer with the Ronald McDonald Foundation, and my experiences there have only confirmed that this is the right path for me.”
Yorda says, “The Science department at SMC has been extraordinary. The teachers are just excellent, and there’s absolutely nothing that’s easy about the classes.” She was studying, on a Sunday evening, for upcoming tests in her Anatomy class. “It’s a very challenging course, and very thorough. But it all adds to my being prepared for what I most want to do in life.” Which, for Yorda, is to take that small hand reaching out, and to somehow transfer a sense of hope.