Sotomayor briefly addressed graduates of Howard University on Saturday after receiving an honorary law degree at the university's 142nd commencement. She said she knows members of the class of 2010 may be a bit anxious about their future, but it's all about "what you make of it."
The first Latina justice also told graduates of the mostly black university that it's now their turn to give back to society and urged them to strive someday to join her on the Supreme Court.
University officials called Sotomayor a trailblazer who believes in hard work.
"Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts; actor and author Hill Harper; University of Maryland art professor David C. Driskell; and Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson also received honorary degrees.
Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. delivered the commencement address.