Astronaut visits San Gabriel Mission schools

Former astronaut Jose Hernandez speaks at San Gabriel Mission High School.

“Anything is possible if you work hard and do well in school,” was the primary message from retired NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez, who recently addressed students at San Gabriel Mission Elementary and High Schools. 

The high school auditorium was packed with students, teachers, staff and parents who heard Hernandez’s personal story that began in the sugar beet fields near Stockton and continued to his recent trip into outer space in 2009.

As the son of immigrant farm workers, Hernandez worked alongside his parents and siblings, picking crops and spending nine months of the year in California and three months in Mexico. His family eventually settled near Stockton.

Hernandez wanted to be an astronaut after watching the Apollo 17 mission at age 10. His father encouraged him and together they plotted out a roadmap to his dreams that included perseverance (and earning a M.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UC Santa Barbara). That was good advice for Hernandez who was turned down 11 times for the space program before finally being accepted.

After extensive training, Hernandez blasted off into space on Aug. 28, 2009, to realize his dream, with his parents and second grade teacher cheering him on.


Voices

St. Monica students on life in first grade

R.W. Dellinger

Josette White, a blonde, was wearing a navy blue school jacket over a white polo shirt and navy shorts. Next to her, best friend Maria Knierim also had on a school jacket, but with a gray polo and navy pants. Her long pigtails were tied with yellow bands.

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May 24, 2015

  • Sunday, May 24

    Revival, 8 a.m., 10 a.m., and 12:15 p.m. (during Mass), Transfiguration Catholic Church, 4020 Roxton Ave., Los Angeles. Come celebrate the spirit of Pentecost. (323) 292-3011.

    Vive la France, 2 p.m., St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, 15520 Ventura Blvd., Encino. A marathon of French organ music, co-sponsored and performed by organists of the Los Angeles Chapter, American Guild of Organists. (310) 475-2693.

     

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