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Supreme Court Justice and Role Model: Sonia Maria Sotomayor

Supreme Court Justice and Role Model: Sonia Maria Sotomayor

Hispanic Heritage Month is here and Odyssey Media is proud to spotlight Supreme Court Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor. Nominated by President Barack Obama, Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor is the first Hispanic and Latina member of our highest court. She is a woman for all seasons.

Born in Bronx, New York to Puerto Rican parents, Sotomayor was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at a very young age. By the age of seven, she handled her own insulin shots. When asked about the disease she once said, "It drove me in a way that perhaps nothing else might have to accomplish as much as I could as early as possible."

Determination is at the heart of her graduating summa cum laude from Princeton University and Yale University Law School. Her career began as an assistant district attorney before she went into private practice. Then the presidents came calling. First, George H.W. Bush nominated her to serve as a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York where she served for five years. Next President William Clinton nominated her to the United States Court of Appeals for Second Circuit.

Her story demonstrates how hard work and focus are antidotes to every challenge. She faced discrimination but still worked to overcome challenges which ultimately made her an exceptional student. Today, she has received numerous awards and accolades, including honorary law degrees from no less than ten major law schools.

I was there the day Justice Sotomayor was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice. Imagine a beautiful Washington day. Every lawyer you can imagine was there. At the very last minute before the ceremony began, President Barack Obama joined then Attorney General Eric Holder in the first row of the Court. With that addition, the ten best minutes I ever spent in a courtroom ended with the swearing in of Justice Sotomayor. It was a joyous occasion filled with her family and well wishes.

Justice Sotomayor is an inspiration as only the third woman Supreme Court Justice in American history. She is the author of My Beloved World and Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You, about the value of seeing and respecting differences. For her contributions to equal justice for all, Justice Sotomayor is the ultimate Motivational Mondays goal. She doesn’t just make a difference, she is the difference.

Kim Keenan
EVP & GC Odyssey Media

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