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Response Speech of Sotomayor’s 2012 NYU Commencement Essay

This speech was not awesome, but more than that. Her tenacious and benevolent appearance was enough to attract the audience’s attention. She made jokes to make the audience comfortable and to keep the speech accessible and fresh. Also, she used various anecdotes from her life that both those in the stadium and I could empathize with. Her speech at the commencement ceremony at NYU struck a chord with me. More especially, there was a hopeful message to the young people starting fresh in life. First, she had the ability to convert her weak points into strengths. Her life story is literally ‘a dream come true’.

She was born and raised in the Bronx, New York which is not the greatest place to live. Yet, she grew up and graduated from a prestigious university. Moreover, she became the first Hispanic justice of the Supreme Court and the third-ever woman to hold the post. She is a person of great wisdom, because she embraced her identity as a Hispanic woman, in order to make her dreams a reality. Furthermore, her life story shows that anyone can succeed whatever the obstacles or barriers. As we already know, she grew up in a public housing project in the Bronx and never imagined that she would stand on that podium.

However, she finally became a supreme justice after going through so many challenges. There might have been enormous trials and tribulations, but it is obvious evident from her example that we can achieve our dreams despite the challenge we face, if we do exert ourselves enough. Last, the five essential emotions that she had referred to are a further guideline for us. In fact, the current tendency in Korea is to be stable rather than to challenge. People think that it may take too much time to reach their dream, so they choose a job that they can do comfortably, rather than what they really want.

However, her speech showed me that I should choose what I truly want to do, and I can do that if I embrace her five emotions necessary for a successful life Her speech made me have second thoughts about and reconsider everything about myself, such as my attitudes or my life. Everyone has disadvantages and hardships, but the matter is whether we overcome those things or not. I believe that we all have the ability to do that. So, now I echo her word, dream big, achieve much and keep asking ‘are you ready to challenge and enjoy the engagement of your own life? ’


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