Friday, October 15, 2010

September 15 - October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month

I usually try to make the entries of Latino Heritage and Pasadena Latina different. Some days that is really easy to do.

Today is an exception.

I've just come back from JPL where Astronaut Jose Hernandez spoke to an auditorium of students, staff, and some community members. I fall into that last category.

Astronaut Hernández spoke for about an hour beginning by sharing how he came to be a part of our space program. He spoke of his family's journey from Michoacan, MX to Stockton and back again. Of the fact that his parents had a 3rd grade education and that they stressed the value of education in their family. Of the three things about space that spoke to him and reinforced his ganas to get into the program. He applied 12 times - the 12th time being the one where he finally read the word "yes".

And then we had a chance to share an astronaut's view of flight into space. The group gathered had a chance to see Astronaut Daniel Olivas, who has been in our parade and at our jamaica. It was exciting throughout; beginning with the mission patch complete with accent - Hernández.
Seeing tortillas in space was fun as was the childhood story about helping the TV get better reception.

After the talk as people were gathered around him for a picture, there drew near a fellow with his three sons. I asked the father what grade his sons were in. It was clear after the second try that English was not his native language. I asked in Spanish what grade the boys were in and he answered kindergarten, primero, and segundo. And I couldn't help but recognize something of Astronaut Hernandez's father in the gentleman who brought the boys to meet a man who might help define their future.


  1. haha you were there too? I was privileged to sit right behind him :p

  2. It is a privilege to be around those who are doing amazing things.