Arte Público Press Author José M. Hernández featured on Houston Public Media
Houston Public Media radio host Eric Ladau interviewed Hernández for its website’s “Arte Público Press Authors” feature, and along with the transcript, their conversation is available to listeners on the station’s interactive site through on-demand audio streaming here.
Click here to see all Arte Público authors featured on Houston Public Media.
About the Author:
José M. Hernández, the author of From Farmworker to Astronaut / De campesino a astronauta (Piñata Books, 2019), Reaching for the Stars (Hachette, 2012) and El cosechador de estrellas (Editorial Patria, 2012), obtained his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering, and in 2004 he was selected to be part of the 19th class of US Astronauts. He achieved his life-long dream to become an astronaut in 2009 when he served as the flight engineer on the Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-128 fourteen-day mission to the International Space Station. The founder of Reaching for the Stars Foundation dedicated to increasing the number of students studying STEM fields, he lives in Stockton, California, where he is president and CEO of an engineering firm.
About his new book, The Boy Who Touched the Stars / El niño que alcanzó las estrellas:
Ten-year-old José M. Hernández watched the Apollo 17 moonwalks on his family’s black and white television in 1972 and knew what he wanted to be when he grew up: an astronaut. Later that night he told his father and was surprised when his dad said, “You can do this, m’ijo!”
Mr. Hernández told his son that if he really wanted to become an astronaut, he would need to follow a simple, five-ingredient recipe to succeed: 1) decide what you want, 2) recognize how far you are from your goal, 3) draw a road map to get there, 4) prepare yourself with a good education and 5) develop a good work ethic, always giving more than required.
In the years to come, José would follow this recipe as he obtained undergraduate and master’s degrees in electrical engineering. Adding his own ingredient, perseverance, he applied to NASA’s astronaut program eleven times—and was rejected each time! Finally, in 2004, he was selected to be part of the 19th class of US Astronauts. He achieved his dream in 2009 when he served as the flight engineer on the Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-128 fourteen-day mission to the International Space Station.
In From Farmworker to Astronaut, José M. Hernández recollects his parallel journeys, juxtaposing memories of his mission to the space station and childhood aspirations to reach the stars. His story is sure to motivate kids to set goals and reach for their own dreams.