Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sonia Sotomayor

I am a big believer in the idea that when someone offers you a helping hand that you should turn around and offer your hand to help someone else.

It's the right thing to do and haven't you also found that you always get more out of life when you become actively involved and emotionally invest in it?  I know I do!

I'm guessing that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor practices this same philosophy because she recently went back to her childhood roots in the Bronx, NY and spent the day with young children from the Dream Big program at Environment Day held at Fordham University.  Dream Big is a four to six week summer arts enrichment program for elementary school aged children program at local schools and community based organizations.

US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor reads
to the children at the Dream Big program
Sotomayor had a rough childhood.  She was born in a public housing project, her father was an alcoholic and she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when she was eight years old.  After her father died when she was nine, her mother worked as nurse and raised Sonia and her brother, Juan.  The power of education was something their mother emphasized over and over to them and it was Sonia's ticket out of the Bronx.
She was inspired by Nancy Drew books (my favorite too!) and those books plus watching Perry Mason on television lead to her wanting to become a lawyer and ultimately the first Hispanic to become a member of the Supreme Court.

"My dream is that each of you finds your dream and that it comes true," Sotomayor told the children.  "And I hope that when you reach your dream, you'll write me a letter and you'll tell me."

Despite her very busy schedule on the Supreme Court, Sotomayor frequently returns to the Bronx, which she calls her "beloved world," to stay involved with her dynamic community, to give back what she has learned so far in her life journey and to help inspire children to achieve goals that may take them beyond their neighborhoods.

"Don't give up chasing your dreams," Sotomayor said.
Giving to others can offer us a view of ourselves as strong and valued and needed.  Whether you come from the Bronx or you are in a place where you are trying to rebuild your life, I hope Sonia Sotomayor's tenacity inspires you to stay on your path and continue to follow your passions wherever they may take you and don't forget to help another person along the way.

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