12 Sonia Sotomayor Quotes That Will Inspire Latinas To Blaze Forever

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For inspiration on overcoming adversity and creating a meaningful life of love and justice, look no further than Sonia Sotomayor.

The first Latina Supreme Court Justice, who was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2009, was born in the Bronx, New York to impoverished Puerto Rican parents. Her father, who battled alcoholism, died when Sotomayor was eight years old, right around the time she was diagnosed with diabetes. Her mother, a telephone operator and nurse, was left to raise her alone, always stressing the importance of education. That insistence helped land Sotomayor in Princeton as well as Yale Law School and eventually shaped her into a barrier-breaking judge who became the third woman and first Latino to sit on the highest court in the land.

On the wise Latina’s 64th birthday, get inspired by some of her most encouraging quotes.

1. “Although I grew up in very modest and challenging circumstances, I consider my life to be immeasurably rich.”

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Wealth isn’t always defined by money but rather by the invaluable people, culture and moments in your life.

2. “I have never, ever focused on the negative of things. I always look at the positive.”

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Even in the darkest tunnel, there is a light guiding you to freedom and greatness.

3. “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

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Bam! What she said.

4. “When you come from a background like mine, where you’re entering worlds that are so different than your own, you have to be afraid.”

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Just don’t let that fear stop you from reaching your own destiny and realizing your power.

5. “I realized that people had an unreal image of me, that somehow I was a god on Mount Olympus. I decided that if I were going to make use of my role as a Supreme Court Justice, it would be to inspire people to realize that, first, I was just like them and second, if I could do it, so could they.”

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When your hermana wins, you win, too, ‘cause her gain just helped you getting closer to your own.

6. “To have a romance, you have to have time. I’m a justice. I’ve written a book. The guy’s gonna have to wait until I’m a little bit freer.”

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Prioritize yourself, your vision and your happiness, baby girl.

7. “It is important for all of us to appreciate where we come from and how that history has really shaped us in ways that we might not understand.”

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You often have more to learn from your upbringing, and the experiences it dealt you, than from a textbook.

8. “I’m young at heart. I’m young in spirit, and I’m still adventurous.”

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Never stop having fun.

9. “I do know one thing about me: I don’t measure myself by others’ expectations or let others define my worth.”

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Soar above others’ expectations of you.

10. “The Latina in me is an ember that blazes forever.”

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You are fire.

11. “You know, failure hurts. Any kind of failure stings. If you live in the sting, you will undoubtedly fail. My way of getting past the sting is to say no, ‘I’m just not going to let this get me down.’”

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Fall down seven times and get up eight.

12. “I came to accept during my freshman year that many of the gaps in my knowledge and understanding were simply limits of class and cultural background, not lack of aptitude or application as I’d feared.”

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You are not inherently less than but you have systematically been taught to believe you are — and that is a myth you must debunk for yourself and those around you.

Read: A Shop Owner Complained About Graffiti On The Walls Of Her Store And This Teen Created A Mural On It To Empower Women

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