GRANBY --An eighth grade student at East Grand Middle School has the rare opportunity to meet a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor plans to address students, faculty and citizens at Metropolitan State University of Denver at the Auraria Event Center on May 2. East Grand student Alistair Schwab of Fraser is among 100 Colorado students invited to a meet and greet with the justice prior to her keynote address that night.
Schwab was selected on the merits of a 300-word essay he wrote about the questions "Why you are unique" and "Why you want to meet Sonia Sotomayor."
Eighth grade social studies and civics teacher Abby Loberg presented the opportunity to students, but the essay was not a requirement in school, she said. Schwab took it upon himself to write the essay and submit it.
"I wanted to know why she became so successful," Schwab said on Thursday in the library at school, "because you don't just go from being a normal person to being a Supreme Court Justice; I thought that was pretty cool.
"I would also ask her what goals she set," he continued, "because I think that's a pretty big part of where she's at today."
The honor student two-years-running finds law "really interesting when you really get into it," he said, but his true interests lie in design and architecture. He's also a soccer player.
For the question asking why he is unique, Schwab wrote in his essay about a birthmark he has on his face, saying he is still "confident" and "proud to be myself" in spite of it.
"Everybody needs someone to look up to in life," he said. "And I do look up to (Sotomayor) because she has accomplished so much."
Schwab will be attending the event with state Rep. Claire Levy of District 13, which includes Grand County.
Sotomayor, the first Latina and third female Supreme Court Justice, became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, upon President Obama's nomination. She assumed the role on Aug. 8, 2009.