"I've been dealing with a lot of loss lately and reconnecting with my family and my friends in a different way," Dawson expressed. "I'm realizing how much I've pulled myself back, and I've been just really humbled by this opportunity tonight."
The 38-year-old actress, who was honored for her work at The Lower Eastside Girls Club on Wednesday night, spoke about how she's humbled by her achievements and failures, but is making sure to not take anything for granted.
"Take advantage of every moment because tomorrow is not guaranteed, and you want to make sure the people that you love know that, and that you're doing things with your time that you're proud of, because it goes by so fast," she continued.
"My cousin just died, Vaneza, and I'm coming up on the six-year anniversary of my grandmother's passing," Dawson said. "And from 75 to 26, you just don't know when your time is. And I just don't want to be in any kind of position where I'm looking back going, 'I should've, could've, would've, didn't, damn!'"
Vasquez, who worked for Dawson, passed away on May 11. An official for the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office told ET that she "had some medical issues going on hypertension, migraines and she was under a doctor’s care and he had prescribed some medications." Preliminary tests indicated that Vasquez likely died due to natural causes.