Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor went to Catholic schools as a girl in New York City, reports the New York Times. Her father died when she was 9; her mother worked as a nurse to support her daughter and son, who became a physician.
In speeches to Latino groups over the years, Judge Sotomayor has recalled how her mother worked six days a week as a nurse to send her and her brother to Catholic school, purchased the only set of encyclopedias in the neighborhood and kept a warm pot of rice and beans on the stove every day for their friends.
The family moved from a housing project to a middle-class neighborhood when she was in her teens, which has undercut the hard-luck story. Sotomayor went to Princeton on scholarship, then to Yale for law school.
A widowed nurse with two kids doesn’t have an easy time. But, if she spends her limited income on encyclopedias and school tuition, her kids will get the message that education is valued.