APTOS — The ninth annual Latino Role Models conference will be held on March 9 at Cabrillo College’s Crocker Theater from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The conference is free and lunch will be provided. Students in grades 6 through college and their parents/guardians are encouraged to attend the conference featuring Latino professionals.
It will be conducted in Spanish with English translation via headsets.
Representatives from Cabrillo College, CSU Monterey Bay and UC Santa Cruz will provide information about admissions, financial aid and student resources and activities.
Last year, more than 450 students and family members attended.
The keynote speaker will be José M. Hernández, a former NASA astronaut and award-winning engineer. One of four children in a migrant farming family from Michoacán, Mexico, Hernandez didn’t learn English until he was 12 years old. He dreamed of flying in space ever since he was a teenager working in the fields and he heard on the radio that the first Latin American immigrant had been chosen to travel into space.
Hernandez received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at University of the Pacific in Stockton, and a master’s in electrical and computer engineering at University of California Santa Barbara. His career began at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he co-developed the first full-field digital mammography imaging system useful for detecting breast cancer, among other projects.
His dream came true when he was selected to begin training in the 2004 NASA astronaut candidate class and in 2009 was a mission specialist on board the Space Shuttle Discovery.
In 2005, Hernandez founded the Reaching for the Stars Foundation, an all-volunteer nonprofit aimed at ensuring opportunities for students to pursue their educational and professional goals regardless of obstacles.
For information about the Latino Role Models conference, call 854-7740 or email [email protected]