Awe-Inspiring Hispanic-American Women

National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th through October 15th, so we are currently in the second half of it. As a Spanish minor, I have become deeply interested in learning about the people and cultures of Hispanic and Latin American countries, so I decided to do some research during this month. Naturally, this led me to do a Google search of notable Hispanic American Women of the United States. As a result, I have been introduced to some of the most inspiring, powerful, and amazing women no one ever told you about in history class. Here is a short summary of just three of them.


Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta was born on April 10, 1930 in New Mexico. She faced racial discrimination and prejudice growing up as a Mexican American. Huerta earned her teaching degree as a single mother to two children, but left teaching after witnessing the appalling conditions of her students’ lives, many of whom were children of farm workers. This experience likely led her down the path of becoming a children’s activist, as well as a civil rights activist especially focused on fighting discrimination and improving the working conditions of farm laborers. At 88 years old, Huerta is also an advocate for women and immigrants. She has been honored with several prestigious awards including the Eleanor Roosevelt Award.


Dr. Ellen Ochoa

Dr. Ellen Ochoa was born on May 10, 1958 in Los Angeles. She earned her Bachelor of Science in physics and her doctoral degree in electrical engineering. Ochoa was selected by NASA to be an astronaut in 1990 and became the first Hispanic woman in space. She logged hundreds of hours in space over multiple missions. Later, she also served as the first Hispanic director the Johnson Space Center. Over the course of her career, Ochoa has earned many awards including NASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal. She is also a talented classical flutist.


Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor was born on June 25, 1954 in New York City. Although she had a difficult childhood and grew up in poverty, she excelled in school and eventually attended Princeton on full scholarship as an undergrad, then later graduated from Yale Law School. Sotomayor was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2009 by President Barack Obama, and because of her Puerto-Rican heritage, became both the first Supreme Court justice of Hispanic descent, as well as the first Latina. She is also the third woman to hold the title of Supreme Court justice.


The three women above are only a few examples of the excellence of so many Hispanic American women, and their lives are so much more impressive than I could ever summarize. I encourage you to delve deeper into the lives and works of Dolores Huerta, Dr. Ellen Ochoa, and Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor, as well as those of other Hispanic American women. I have found new role models in the many fierce, strong, and intelligent Hispanic American women of the world. I hope you can find inspiration in their stories as well.

Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month!