Wednesday, April 10th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Join First Graduate as we honor our college graduates of 2019! Our Cap & Gown benefit event will be at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco, and will kick off with a reception at 6:00pm. Following the reception guests are invited to enjoy dinner, hear from students, alumni, and parents and present our First in Family Award to José Hernandez, a NASA Astronaut!
This guarantees to be a fun night, filled with joy and good spirits! Don’t miss out! Join First Graduate for Cap & Gown 2019!
If you can’t make it to Cap & Gown and you still want to support first-gen students in San Francisco please make a donation!
Meet Our Honoree
José M. Hernandez | NASA Astronaut
NASA engineer Jose Hernandez wanted to fly in space ever since he heard that the first Hispanic-American had been chosen to travel into space. “I was hoeing a row of sugar beets in a field near Stockton, Calif., and I heard on my transistor radio that Franklin Chang-Diaz had been selected for the Astronaut Corps,” says Hernandez, who was a senior in high school at the time. “I was already interested in science and engineering,” Hernandez remembers, “but that was the moment I said, ‘I want to fly in space.’ And that’s something I’ve been striving for each day since then.” And now that hard work has paid off. He was selected to begin training as a mission specialist as part of the 2004 astronaut candidate class.
One of four children in a migrant farming family from Mexico, Hernandez — who didn’t learn English until he was 12 years old — spent much of his childhood on what he calls “the California circuit,” traveling with his family from Mexico to southern California each March, then working northward to the Stockton area by November, picking strawberries and cucumbers at farms along the route. Then they would return to Mexico for Christmas, and start the cycle all over again come spring.
After graduating high school in Stockton, Hernandez enrolled at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering and was awarded a full scholarship to the graduate program at the University of California in Santa Barbara, where he continued his engineering studies. In 1987, he accepted a full-time job with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he had worked as a co-op in college… Full Bio.