SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez inspired hundreds of farmworkers and their families after sharing his achievements with them Sunday afternoon.
His tale is the plot of "A Million Miles Away," an Amazon Prime movie telling his life story.
"It doesn't matter where you start from, but it matters where you end up," he said. "Me wanting to be an astronaut, I knew I had to go to college, go to graduate school and get a job as an engineer, which is what I wanted to be."
The Mexican Heritage Center in East San Jose welcomed Hernandez and other professionals to showcase their achievements. They wanted to inspire families to work hard to achieve their dreams. "A Million Miles Away" was number one on Amazon Prime Video when it debuted in September. Hernandez was rejected 11 times to be an astronaut.
He applied for a 12th time and got accepted.
"Never give up on yourself," he said. "In other words, have perseverance as a personal trait."
Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 was Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month. Hernandez says it's a month to celebrate the work others have done for future generations. His family immigrated from Mexico in the early 60s. He worked on a farm before pursuing his dream of becoming an astronaut. He says the month means a lot to him.
"It is the recognition of the contribution of Latinos in this country," he said, "It means we need to pause and recognize everyone."
If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live