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MEEKER I Joshua Cochran, an eighth-grade student at Barone Middle School has been chosen for a rare opportunity to meet U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will be addressing students, and Cochran will be among 100 students invited to meet and greet with the Sotomayor prior to her keynote address that evening.
Cochran was selected based on a 300-word essay he wrote about the questions “Why are you unique?” and “Why you want to meet Sonia Sotomayer?”
Barone eighth-grade social studies teacher Kris Casey presented the opportunity to the students, but the essay was not required in school. It was posted for any interested students.
Cochran and his mom worked on the essay since she learned about it at work as part of her diversity training, and thought it would be something they could work on together.
“I wanted to know how (Sotomayor) became what she has, coming from the projects and living with an alcoholic father and being raised by a single mother,” Cochran said. “My mom went through some of the same things she has. I wrote that my mom made it and has a good job, education and is a good role model to me and my brothers and sisters.
“I would like to ask her who her role models are and what was the hardest obstacle she had to overcome,” he said. “I wrote that she is a role model because her story will let kids know that even if they come from poor neighborhoods or single-parent homes, they can overcome these problems and become successful themselves.”
Cochran will be attending the event with state Rep. Bob Rankin of District 57, which includes Rio Blanco, Moffat and Garfield counties.
Sotomayor is the first Latina and third female U.S. Supreme Court justice, becoming an associate justice on May 26, 2009.