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30 Years Una Tradición | Sonia Sotomayor

Isla Martinez

Marketing and PR Coordinator

With the 30th Anniversary of the Hispanic Heritage Awards around the corner, we’d like to share with you some of the past honorees and their many accomplishments. HHF honored U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor with the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award at our 29th Hispanic Heritage Awards.

On the day of the 2016 Hispanic Heritage Awards, Sonia Sotomayor said in her speech, “Eso si soy, Boricua. Receiving this award just touches my heart, I am deeply honored and humbled to be part of this illustrious group of talented and extraordinary recipients. My fellow honorees inspire all of us to do more, and I am in awe of each you. It is particularly touching for me to be honored by a room full of Latino and Latina leaders, to me leadership means service and public service has been the key stone of my own life.”

Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF said, “The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is extremely proud to be able to honor Justice Sotomayor with our Leadership Award. The Justice truly embodies what it means to be American.”

In “A Latina Judge’s Voice,” by Sonia Sotomayor, she says, “I became a Latina by the way I love and the way I live my life. My family showed me by their example how wonderful and vibrant life is and how wonderful and magical it is to have a Latina soul. They taught me to love being a Puertorriqueña and to love America and value its lesson that great things could not be achieved if one works hard for it.”

President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role on August 8, 2009! Sonia Sotomayor was born in the Bronx, New York. She earned her B.A. from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude, and receiving the university’s highest academic honor. She earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. After that, she served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York Country District Attorney’s Office from 1979-1984.

She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984-1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992-1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998-2009.

HHF was honored to present Justice Sonia Sotomayor with the HHA Leadership Award in 2016, reining among the other prestigious honorees that have been honored the past 30 years. Stay tuned as we announce Hispanic Heritage Award honorees and presenters in the weeks to come!