Give Back, Help Others, Justice Sonia Sotomayor Tells College Grads

Image: Sonia Sotomayor
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor gives the commencement address at the graduation ceremony for the class of 2016 at the University of Rhode Island Sunday, May 22, 2016, in South Kingstown, R.I. She also received an honorary degree.Glenn Osmundson / The Providence Journal via AP

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By Brian Latimer

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor had some wise words for graduating Seniors at the University of Rhode Island's commencement exercises on May 22nd.

"Today is a beginning, not just an ending, and the experiences and memories you have created of the last few years will be of service to you long after you leave here," Sotomayor said. "Always remember you have an obligation to help others gain the same joys and face the same challenges that you did."

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Sotomayor, 61, told students she was the daughter of Puerto Rican migrants who moved to New York City during WWII. While growing up in a South Bronx housing project, she dreamed one say she would go to college, become a lawyer, and "if life was really good" to her, she would become a judge.

She did not just become a "judge" but the first Latina Supreme Court Justice. As she shared her story of being a first-generation college student, she urged the graduates to embrace their upbringings.

"As caterpillars return to their roosting places as butterflies, it will always be important to remember where you came from and who raised you."

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