Celebrating Hispanic Women for Women’s History Month

by Jessica Martinez

March is Women’s History Month, and in celebration of this month, I will be listing and describing beautiful and powerful women in history and in the present. But not just any women–Hispanic women!

When discussing powerful Hispanic women, people may think of; Shakira, Gloria Estefen, and Jennifer López. All of them are very talented, but do you know who was the first Latina astronaut? Ellen Ochoa ( born May 10, 1958, in Los Ángeles, California). Ochoa is currently 62 years old. She was an American astronaut and administrator who was the first Hispanic woman to travel into space, in 1993. She later served as director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center (2013–18). Ochoa was aboard the Discovery shuttle for a total of nine days while conducting important research into the Earth’s ozone layer.

Another amazing woman I just had to put in is Selena Quintanilla. Known as the ‘Queen of Tejano Music,’ Selena Quintanilla was a beloved Latin recording artist who was killed by the president of her fan club in 1995 at the age of 23. Selena was born on April 16,1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas. Selena Quintanilla made her recording debut in the ’80s, going on to become an award-winning recording artist in the Latin music scene with albums like Amor Prohibido and Selena Live. Selena will always be remembered in the hearts of the people who listened to her music and her story.

Lastly, but just as importantly, is Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice for the United States Supreme Court. She is currently a member of the United States Supreme Court and she is 66 years old. She was born in the Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954.

In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Then, she served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979–1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984–1992.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992–1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.

There are so many more women to mention, but I could not possibly list all of the beautiful, hard-working, amazing Latin women in this article. This a reminder to give thanks to the women that made and still make a difference in our lives.

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