NEW YORK (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor returned to her old stomping grounds in the Bronx on Friday to speak to second-graders and tell them to that if she could accomplish her goals, they could, too.
Sotomayor joined a fellow-Bronx native, the actress Kerry Washington, to answer questions from the nearly 200 students who attended the event put on by the Bronx Children’s Museum.
The children peppered the justice with questions about what motivates her and how she makes important decisions.
Their final question was about former President Barack Obama and what it was like to meet him.
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“He was never nasty. He was never critical of me or complaining. He just showed interest in me,” she said, describing her first meeting with Obama when she was being considered as a court nominee. “He’s as kind and gentle as the man you see on TV.”
The students didn’t ask her about President Donald Trump.
Sotomayor also shared passages from her illustrated children’s book, “Turning Pages, My Life Story,” which details her childhood in the Bronx.
The event was held at Hostos Community College, where Sotomayor’s mother studied nursing while Sotomayor was in high school.
Sotomayor described to the students what it was like being a Supreme Court justice — mostly reading, thinking, and writing — and how she approaches decisions on the court.
Sotomayor has participated in the annual event for the past 10 years and encourages students to read to be inspired. She said she still finds inspiration one of her favorite books, “Watership Down.”