I had met a couple state-level Supreme Court justices before U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor visited Arcadia, one from California and another from my home state, Hawaii. When they visited my high school, they talked about their roles in the justice system and allowed us to ask questions. However, it seemed like they never gave a straight answer, that they went out of their way to avoid doing so. That shaped how I viewed people in the justice system, whether they were lawyers or judges. I understood their precaution, not wanting to reveal a bias or opinion. But I wasn’t sure I liked their aloofness.
When Justice Sotomayor presented at Arcadia, it was different. She was honest about her upbringing, feelings, and tried to get people to understand more about her character. She kept true to her strong support of diversity and showed humility by coming down to the audience to greet the people who came to the event. During the presentation, someone asked Justice Sotomayor why she chose Arcadia University as one of the few schools she would visit. She turned around and stated that it was because of the University’s focus on global studies and experiences, which promoted not only a diversity of culture but of knowledge and experience as well. As soon as I heard her answer, I felt a swell of pride for this school. Her reason for coming here was the same as mine.