Former NASA astronaut motivating students to ‘reach for the stars’

PHARR, TX  — It was an out-of-this-world visit for thousands of valley students when former NASA Astronaut Jose Hernandez spoke at a “Migrants in Action” conference in Texas.

Former NASA Astronaut Jose Hernandez says, “I’m here to motivate them and tell them it is okay to dream big, I mean I used to dream of being an astronaut and going to the stars, I grew up as a migrant worker.”

During the conference Hernandez spoke to students about his challenges in life and growing up as a migrant worker in California. For the students, hearing his story meant a lot.

Guillermo Gutierrez is a student from the city of Edingburg in Texas who attended the conference and says he felt very inspired.

Gutierrez says, “It was an experience, because it raises my hopes of becoming something big and I really admire that.”

During the conference the students learned a lot from Hernandez, but for the former astronaut it didn’t come easy.  It wasn’t until his 12th attempt that he was finally accepted into NASA.

Following his visit to the valley, Hernandez will head back home to California; later he will travel to other cities, including El Paso, Texas.

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