Students in San Francisco get visit from Chief Justice

February 13, 2013 5:03:47 PM PST
Some San Francisco students got a rare one-on-one with Chief Justice of California Tani Cantil-Sakauye who visited Balboa High School Wednesday to help students imagine their future. It turns out, they may have done the same for her.

The chief justice makes it a point to visit a school in California once a year. This year's pick was Balboa High School's law academy in San Francisco. It was a unique opportunity for students to question Cantil-Sakauye.

"What advice do you have for a high school student with average grades if they want to be where you are some day?" one student asked. The chief justice told them that regardless of their grades, they should stay focused on their education. "It's like a house. Build your foundation. Be strong. Gather the tools you need," she said.

Cantil-Sakauye was sworn into office in 2011 becoming the second woman to serve as the state's chief justice. "What are the best and worst parts of your career?" she was asked. "I feel like I'm on team justice," she said. "The worst part of my job for me is that I'm away from my family part of the week."

There are about 90 students enrolled in the school's law academy. "I actually didn't really know what a chief justice was until today, but I learned a lot," student David Gomez told ABC7 News. "She talked to us like she's a regular person. I really liked that, even though she has such a great honor and she's the chief justice," student Cynthia Ngan said.

"I do it because it opens up kids' minds. It gets them thinking about things. It makes the world around them relevant and it lets them know that anything's possible," Cantil-Sakauye said.

If she had to pick another career, Cantil-Sakauye says she would have been a teacher. In fact, she says she may just do that when she retires.


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