Sonia Sotomayor: an inspiration

by Elena Collado, Staff Writer

     As it is now women’s history month it is important to recognize the women today who are continuing to break barriers and inspire millions. Sonia Sotomayor is one of those women. She was the first Hispanic woman to be a supreme court justice, this is a huge accomplishment, but she is not defined solely by this. She is a person of amazing character and a role model for young women everywhere. She is definitely someone who is extremely beneficial to learn about because her story is inspiring and motivating.

     One of Sotomayor’s admiral qualities is her resilience because she suffered an immense loss in her childhood but persisted nonetheless. Her childhood and her early life shaped her to be the person that she is today, and it had a huge impact on her morals and her effort to give back. She was born in the Bronx, New York, to her two Puerto Rican parents who had recently immigrated to America. Sonia’s parents were extremely hardworking individuals, her mom being a nurse and her dad being a tool worker, but sadly her father passed away when she was only nine. She was saddened by the passing of her dad, but she still didn’t let it hold her back and  she went on to graduate as the valedictorian of her class at Cardinal Spellman High School in 1972. 

     She is also very much a woman of action; if she identifies a problem that is affecting her or other people, she does whatever she can to alleviate the issue. Following high school, Sotomayor attended Princeton University on a full ride scholarship. While attending a prestigious school like Princeton was an amazing opportunity for her, something was off about the school environment. Having grown up in an extremely diverse neighborhood in the Bronx, it was difficult for her to feel at home in the community while attending Princeton which barely consisted of women and Hispanics. Instead of just ignoring this issue, Sotomayor took it upon herself to find a solution for it so that others won’t have to feel how she felt. 

     Sotomayor became a strong advocate for diversity at Princeton and even became the co-chair of the Acción Puertorriquena organization. Her hard work did more than just make current Hispanic and female students at Princeton feel accepted, her advocacy resulted in a larger amount of Hispanic staff hired at the school and even Puerto Rican history classes being offered at the school. These changes would also find their way into other schools, like Yale, because of Sotomayor’s hard work and dedication.

     Sonia Sotomayor is an incredible role model for young women because she embodies the idea of making a difference and creating a positive precedent for those who follow you.