"Success is measured in how far you've come." Sonia Sotomayor
Judge Sonia Sotomayor takes the reins of the education debate and inspires thousands through her speech at the NASPA Annual Conference.
Refusing to speak from the podium and walking among the public, the only Latina judge in the Supreme Court of the United States, Sonia Sotomayor, inspired the attendees of the Annual Conference of the main association of Administrators of Student Affairs in Higher Education (NASPA), giving the example of Latino representation in American society.
"I hope every student has the wish to someday be sitting up here (on stage)," Sotomayor told the almost 7,000 attendees of the conference, opening a debate on the scope of professional life and the inclusion of all individuals, regardless of their background.
"Don’t measure me by how the doors open for me. Measure me for what I do once I cross the threshold,” was the message of who in 2009 became the first Latina to be a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, and that went viral in a matter of seconds. "When Obama nominated me for the Supreme Court, he told me not to listen to the press during the nomination process. Reviews saying I wasn’t smart enough, got to me," she explained.
"Your measure of success should not be 'did I reach that?', but looking back and seeing how far you’ve come," she added.
As Univisión reported, the judge "said that mentors make a difference that can change the lives of students, especially those who are part of the first generation born in the United States."
In a key moment for the immigrant society in the country, the words of Sotomayor resonated with more force.
"Take advantage of your college setting. Learn something from someone different than you. It is important to meet people who have different life experiences than your own," she continued.
For young students who have just graduated and for those who are just beginning the obstacle course that the professional life implies, Sotomayor advised them not to ask "Can I be your apprentice?", but to develop individual skills, make themselves known and "let mentors know what you are worthy by seeing your interest to learn. Show that you are taking charge of your life and use mentors help to utilize their help in positive ways."
In a country where "agreeing" has become a symbol of weakness, Sotomayor reflected: "(We must) understand what motivates our thinking about the fears of those who disagree with us. Try to discover what it is that scares the other person, and then you can understand why they are doing what they are doing. "
Going further, the Latin judge explained that "fundamental differences must exist", and that the debate is always good. "We can argue today, lose tomorrow, win today, but don’t turn it into hatred."