Justice Sonia Sotomayor visited the Carlos Rosario School and spent time with students and school community members on Wednesday, November 19th. The auditorium was filled with more than 300 adult immigrant learners representing countries across the globe, students who are fighting daily to achieve their own educational dreams and to make better lives for themselves.
After an inspiring introduction in which the Justice told the students, “You will make this a better place,” she stepped off the stage and into the audience to answer student questions. Students submitted more than 100 questions following a month of studies and research about this influential Latina. Students asked about the Justice’s dreams and failures, and sought advice on managing time, raising children, and achieving success.
One student asked: “As a Latina, can you give me some advice to succeed in this world of discrimination and inequality?” The Justice responded, “You have to be stubborn. You’re not going to have success every single time…but from every experience you have to learn a lesson. You have to get up each time you get knocked down.”
In the auditorium the Justice’s parting words to the students were: “You are our future. You give me hope.”
Following the Q&A, the Justice visited classrooms to see students in action and interact more closely with them. She viewed a student-created exhibit highlighting what they had learned about the Justice and helped beginning level English as a Second Language students practice introducing themselves. GED student Yimi Rivera said he was inspired by the Justice because “She showed me I need to keep fighting hard to be what I want to be, to reach my goals, to really get where I want.”
Carlos Rosario School Executive Director and CEO, Allison Kokkoros captured the importance of the visit in saying to the Justice, “You exemplify the American Dream and our students are achieving the American Dream every day.”