Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrates Culture

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrates Culture

Estephania Anaya-Lopez

Hispanic Heritage Month, extending from September 15 to October 15, pays reverence to the nearly 62.1 million Hispanics living in the U.S. for their generations upon generations of positive influence on the American people and country as a whole. Of the millions of Hispanic Americans, there are several prominent ones.

Sonia Maria Sotomayor was born to two Puerto Rican parents in the Bronx, New York. Nominated by then-President Barack Obama, Sotomayor was the first Hispanic and merely the third woman to fill the role of Supreme Court Justice. Renowned equally for her “cutthroat attitude toward ill-prepared attorneys” and her “kindness toward jurors and [attorneys] who work hard to advocate for their clients,” she has made her voice heard in numerous cases. Sonia Sotomayor is poised to be a bountiful voice on the court for years to come.

Another notable Hispanic American, Julia Alvarez, was born in New York City but raised in her parents’ native country, the Dominican Republic, for the first ten years of her life. Known for her various writings–novels, poems, nonfiction, and books–she has earned several awards, including the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award and the National Medal of Arts in 2013.

A true tale of advancement, Jose M. Hernandez, born in California to a Mexican farming family, went from not learning English until he was 12 to work at NASA. Throughout his youth, he and his family would travel between the United States and Mexico working in the harvest. He was inspired to be an astronaut while working in a field when he heard about another astronaut on the radio. After his schooling, he did research over various topics before he became Chief of the Materials and Processes Branch at the Johnson Space Center, before being a mission specialist aboard Discovery. Despite his retirement in 2011, he continues to be an inspiration to many.

Sonia Sotomayor, Julia Alvarez, and Jose M. Hernandez are but a few of the millions of Hispanic Americans that we celebrate and honor during Hispanic Heritage Month.