LAMONT, Calif. (KGET) — José Hernández — the very first Latino and migrant farm working astronaut — made a visit to Kern County on Monday as the keynote speaker for the annual Cene con sus Hijos event in Lamont.
Hernández was selected as keynote speaker for this year’s event at Myrtle Avenue Elementary School, according to Lori Gonzalez, Superintendent of the Lamont Elementary School District.
“It means a lot being here in this community because it’s very similar to communities I grew up in,” Hernández told 17 News. “I love coming to talk to kids like this because they remind me so much of myself. I see a lot of myself in them.”
Gonzalez said this annual event provides an opportunity for people to engage with students, something she believes is highly important.
“I think the most important part about the Cene con sus Hijos and students in general is to find those opportunities and experiences, but also to see themselves that it’s possible,” said Gonzalez. “So, José Hernández is really a picture of that — it is possible to have dreams, aspire to them and make them happen.”
Hernández introduces himself as the first migrant farm working astronaut, having come from a migrant farm working family.
“I’m the first one like all these folks that you see here to become an astronaut,” said Hernández. “To me, it’s very humbling that I’m able to use myself as a role model, to empower these kids in believing that anything is possible with hard work and an education.”
A biopic on Hernández’s life, titled “A Million Miles Away”, is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.