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The First Latina In Space Wants To Use Her Experience To Produce More STEM Graduates

@Astro_Ellen / Twitter

The first Latina to ever travel to space is being honored and joining some of the greatest people in astronautics history. Ellen Ochoa broke the barrier of Latinas in space in 1993, just two years after becoming an astronaut. Since becoming an astronaut, Ochoa has logged 978 hours outside of Earth during four different missions to space and is now the Director of the Johnson Space Center.

Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina in space, will soon be part of the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.

NASA Johnson / Flickr
CREDIT: NASA Johnson / Flickr

According to a news release by The Kennedy Space Center, Ochoa holds the distinction of being the first Latina in space after boarding a STS-56 in 1993 as a mission specialist.

Ochoa wants to use her platform and experience to encourage young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

NASA Johnson / Flickr
CREDIT: NASA Johnson / Flickr

“I’m honored to be recognized among generations of astronauts who were at the forefront of exploring our universe for the benefit of humankind,” Ochoa told CBS8. “I hope to continue to inspire our nation’s youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math so they, too, may reach for the stars.”

According to a news release, Ochoa was chosen along former crew mate Michael Foale because of her extraordinary work to advance space exploration.

NASA Johnson / Flickr
CREDIT: NASA Johnson / Flickr

“The courage, dedication and passionate spirit exhibited by both Dr.’s Foale and Ochoa is indicative of the extraordinary individuals who have been recognized in this way,” Dan Brandenstein, the board chairman of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, said in a press release. “NASA’s mission is always expanding with a goal to learn more and go further. Our two new U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame inductees have been pivotal in keeping that mission on course.”

Jerry Brown, the governor of California, took a moment to recognize the honorable accomplishment by the California native.

NASA Johnson / Flickr
CREDIT: NASA Johnson / Flickr

“These talented individuals with their unique set of accomplishments show the best of California,” Gov. Jerry Brown said, according to Times of San Diego. “Their creativity and perseverance are a real inspiration.”



Ochoa calls La Mesa home and is one of three astronauts who graduated from Grossmount High School in El Cajon, Calif.

Congratulations, Ellen!

NASA Johnson / Flickr
CREDIT: NASA Johnson / Flickr

READ: NASA Just Can’t Get Enough Of This Mexican Scientist

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Pro-Trump Town Conflicted After Local Role Model Is Detained By ICE

things that matter

Pro-Trump Town Conflicted After Local Role Model Is Detained By ICE

JOE BRUSKY / GAGE SKIDMORE / FLICKR

For more than a decade, 38-year-old Juan Carlos Hernandez Pacheco has been a model citizen in West Frankfort, Illinois, a coal-mining town that heavily supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election. According to KSDK NBC News, not only does Hernandez manage a local Mexican restaurant, La Fiesta, but he’s also very active in community cleanup projects, local fundraisers, and has provided community support measures like meals for working firefighters.

Unfortunately, Hernandez, who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1990s, never obtained legal status, a problem that caught up to him in early February.

On February 9th, Hernandez was arrested by Immigration Customs and and Enforcement.

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 10.55.44 AM
ISTANDWITHCARLOS / GO FUND ME

Though ICE did not give an official reason for his recent arrest, the department did acknowledge a 2007 drunk driving conviction, NBC reports. Friends of Hernandez told the New York Times that Hernandez quit drinking after that 2007 arrest. If Hernandez is deported, he will leave behind a wife and three children.

While many locals believe in immigration reform, and are pro-legal immigration, the arrest of Hernandez has caused many pro-Trump locals to confront the realities of deportation. Local business owner Lori Barron echoed this sentiment in the New York Times, saying, “I think people need to do things the right way, follow the rules and obey the laws, and I firmly believe in that.” However, in the case of Hernandez, Barron conceded that the town of West Frankfort has largely benefited because of Hernandez’s contributions, saying, “I think he may have done more for the people here than this place has ever given him.”

Several members of the Pro-Trump community have come out in support of Hernandez.

ImageStory
JOE BRUSKY / GAGE SKIDMORE / FLICKR

Since his arrest, several prominent officials, including the town’s mayor and police chief, have spoken out to support Hernandez. One of Hernandez’s friends, Tim Grigsby, told NBC he’s the kind of guy you’d want to “pattern your life after.” Friends have insisted that their support for Hernandez is not a political issue, but a personal one. Grigsby told NBC, “If any judge were to look at this case, I don’t know how anybody could say that this individual isn’t worthy of becoming a citizen of this country.”

For now, Hernandez’s future remains uncertain. Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help with Hernandez’s mounting legal fees. He is currently scheduled for a hearing this Wednesday.

[H/T] NEW YORK TIMES: He’s a Local Pillar in a Trump Town. Now He Could Be Deported.


READ: California’s Farmers Voted For Trump Because They Wanted Change. They Told The NY Times They’re Worried Trump Might Deport Their Undocumented Work Force

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