"I've been dealing with a lot of loss lately, and reconnecting with my family and my friends in a different way," Dawson said during the AOL interview. She added that she was humbled by what she's accomplished, but that she's also humbled by her "failures," and the "necessity to never take anything for granted."
"Take advantage of every moment, because tomorrow's not guaranteed," Dawson said through tears. "And you want to make sure that the people that you love know that, and that you're doing things with your time that you're proud of."
"My cousin just died, Vaneza, and I'm coming up on the six-year anniversary of my grandmother's passing," Dawson said during the AOL interview. "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, 'Ah, I should've, could've, would've, didn't, damn."
The appearance marks the first time Dawson has addressed Vasquez's passing, Page Six noted. Vasquez's cause of death hasn't been publicized, though she reportedly suffered from migraines and high blood pressure before her death.
Dawson's emotional statements start at the 17:01 minute mark in the below video; her statements about her cousin and grandmother come at the 19:58 minute mark.
In the interview, Dawson also discussed her work with the Lower Eastside Girls Club and how her family inspired her to give back to the community.
"I grew up in a family that participated in different ways, and I engaged in different ways... My great-grandmother worked at the Ladies' International Garment Workers' Union with my grandmother, which was super awesome," Dawson told AOL Build host Ricky Camilleri. "And then they had labor issues, and all types of things, so they used to walk in marches. And they used to bring my mom in tow, and my mom used to bring me in tow to all the different marches that she went to."
Dawson's statements are incredibly humble and candid — the interview is worth a watch.