Locally home grown and now an associate justice of the Supreme Court of California Mariano-Florentino Cuellar paid the Imperial Valley a visit.
He met with the Imperial County Suprior Court judges for lunch before he headed to his alma mater Calexico High School.
“I remember being in high school here and walking down the streets of Calexico coming up to El Centro for all kinds of reasons having mock trial team competitions up in the Superior Court here. It feels wonderful,” Cuellar said.
Cuellar says participating in mock trial is what launched his journey in the justice system.
Governor Brown nominated Cuellar be the associate judge of the California Supreme Court last year.
“It did help to be on the mock trial team because then you have the experience of what does it feel like to represent someone or to represent the government or to try and figure out who’s guilty and who’s not guilty, how to follow the rules.
He told judges his happiest memories were in Calexico and he owes a lot of his success to his teachers in Calexico.
I feel very lucky so many people have been helpful to me including incredible teachers I have had here Mr. Orduna, Mr. Thornberg, Mrs. Henderson. Wonderful teachers that set you on the right path.
Cuellar’s message to the graduates include remembering where they came from and giving back to their community.
“They’re going to be growing up in a world that’s amazing full of possibility, full of challenges, full of problems that haven’t been solved, but if they have spark in them, they can go and change the world in their own way,” Cuellar said.