Will Sotomayor's Storied Heritage Help Her to the Bench?

Watch an exclusive web extra of Juan Sotomayor's trip back to the South Bronx with ABC's Claire Shipman.

"I've always said the Hispanic population in the United States needs role models, educational role models, and I think she's the perfect role model," said Sotomayor, who is a physician in Syracuse, N.Y., and himself an accomplished product of the Bronx. "She's a good person, she's a strong person, she's determined."

Significance of Family Heritage

Sotomayor describes his sister as someone who is focused on the importance of family.

"You grow up with someone and you know what kind of person ... There's no mystery with my sister," he said. "She's a wonderful, warm person, one of the greatest family people you'll ever meet. [She] takes being a family member very seriously, just like she takes everything else."

Growing up with humble beginnings, Sotomator describes their small family as having a bond that's "just incredible." Sonia and Juan lost their father when they were young and their mother raised the children on her own.

"I would say we are a triangular family – my mom, my sister and myself. And we sort of feed each other and depend on each other," he said.

Not only did they feed off each other, but, the Sotomayors were a source of strength for the entire community. Many neighbors viewed their apartment as a sort of clinic to which they could visit if they were sick or needed advice.

"She's Florence nightingale, she helps everyone," said Sotomayor. "My mom was just an instinctive about making right decisions."

Watch an exclusive web extra of Juan Sotomayor's trip back to the South Bronx with ABC's Claire Shipman.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

When asked if Sonia Sotomayor has qualities that mimic her mother's giving nature, Sotomayor was quick to compare the two.

"Independent, certainly not intimidated, certainly hard-working, caring probably more than anything, tolerant," he said of his mother and sister. "My mom taught us no matter where you came from, what kind of job you had, what kind of economic status, what kind of preferences you had in anything in life, you treat them with dignity, treat them with respect. And, my sister has certainly if not learned that lesson, is the epitome of that lesson."

Sonia Sotomayor's storied childhood and background is part of what makes her a unique choice to be a Supreme Court justice. Sotomayor recognizes that his sister is a "significant pick" for the administration, but says she is qualified for the position.

"She represents where we can go. She represents the future. And I believe that she is the right person," he said. "Without a doubt, she is the most qualified, and absolutely the best person for this position."

A proud brother, Sotomayor attributes family heritage as a large factor in his sister's success.

"I think that growing up the way we did makes you respectful again, it makes you humble," said Sotomayor. "We've never looked back or looked down, we always look up and ahead, but always know, you know, we're still the same people. There's nothing that's changed about us fundamentally, that's just an influence of our heritage and our mom and everything that's been given to us."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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