Justice Sonia Sotomayor was moved to tears last Friday when Bronxdale Houses, a group of 28 seven-story buildings that make up the public housing project where she grew up, was renamed Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses and Community Center. During the ceremony to commemorate the renaming, Judge Sotomayor reminisced on her memories of growing up there surrounded by family, and spoke of how the late Robert Kennedy’s visit there awakened her interest in public service.
The stop at the newly named Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses and Community Center was one of many. The judge also visited her grammar school, Blessed Sacrament, and delivered a commencement speech at The Hostos Community College, where her mother, Celine Baez, graduated with a nursing degree in 1973 at the age of 47. “All who have come from a foreign land, who are the first in your family to graduate….you are living proof, like my brother and I that you can make it,” she told the graduating class while her mother and brother watched from the audience.