High School #13 Named After Inspirational Latina Leader Sonia M. Sotomayor

Pilar Buelna

On May 10, 2011, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education approved the naming of High School #13 after the first Latina Supreme Court Justice of the United States Sonia M. Sotomayor.

Three of our very own Mount Washington Association members sat on the naming committee and spoke in support of naming High School #13 The Sonia M. Sotomayor Learning Academies.  Twelve year old Gabriela Buelna, Mount Washington Elementary alumni, also spoke about what an inspiration this would be to all girls. The following is her statement to the LAUSD Board of Education:

Hello and good afternoon. My name is Gabriela Maria Buelna and I am here to tell you why I believe our neighborhood school should be named The Sonia Maria Sotomayor Learning Academies.

Sonia Maria Sotomayor is the first Latina woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court. In my opinion, this is pretty impressive, but also upsetting because it's 2011 and I can't believe it took this long to get a Latina to the Supreme Court.

Justice Sotomayor grew up like most of us without many female attorneys to look up to. She was born in the Bronx and is of Puerto Rican descent. Her father died when she was nine and she was raised by her mother with little resources. Today she is serving as a judge in one of the world’s most powerful countries. 

When I grow up, I want to be an attorney. Naming our neighborhood school after the first Latina Supreme Court Justice will be a constant reminder to girls like me that with hard work we can accomplish anything we set out to do. She represents me.

Justice Sotomayor will now serve as a model to generations of Latinas. This is why I believe our school should be named The Sonia Maria Sotomayor Learning Academies.  Thank You.

The Sonia M. Sotomayor Leaning Academies is scheduled to open this fall.  An invitation to the ribbon cutting has been extended to Justice Sotomayor and we look forward to welcoming her to Los Angeles to share with her firsthand what an inspiration she is to us all.



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