He Changed His Stars

Remember the impoverished father in “A Knight’s Tale” who told his little boy that he could change his stars? The concept has always intrigued me. Here’s a modern day tale that chases after the metaphor and includes our galaxy’s 400 billion or so stars.

I do not personally know former astronaut Jose Hernandez, the reputed champion in this

CREDIT: NASA/Kim Shiflett

non-fiction scenario. Since I’ve never met or spoken with him I want to clarify that my interest in his biography is not about issuing a political endorsement. It’s about sharing an amazing story for which we can only pray for an equally triumphant ending …which is ever so tough to achieve in politics. I’m always scouting for truly principled, well bred elected officials for whom I can cheer. And then every so often, after a few rodeos, some democrat or republican shreds my heart after seeming to have lost their mind over power, money, sex, or some other obsession. Am I crazy for hoping for better? I really don’t want to get jaded. Am I all alone in the room?

Back to Hernandez. He is the son of a poor, Mexican migrant worker who is running for congress in California’s 10th district and has just celebrated his three year anniversary with the Discovery Space Shuttle team (Aug. 28th, 2009). He is a pilot, an engineer, a self described problem solver, and a former cucumber picker who decided his future at the age of nine after watching live coverage of Apollo 17’s final mission to the moon. Jose applied to NASA 12 times and after failing to make the cut, he strove to improve himself, received his pilot’s license, became a master SCUBA diver, and learned to speak conversational Russian. – Excerpt from Meet Jose Hernandez for Congress.

That nine-year-old changed his stars.

The attached video (in English with some Spanish sprinkled in) captures a moment with Hernandez on the campaign trail. About 7 minutes in length, it is worth viewing to hear his “5 simple ingredients for a successful life.” The way I see it, a man of good measure is launching a new chapter at a time when our country needs more ethical heroes in the house than ever. Hope this one’s character sticks. I’m keeping the faith.


About Light Stream

Casandra Moreno Lombera is an author, blogger, and Emmy nominated television producer who grew up in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver communities. In junior high school, she promised her single mother that she would get straight A’s in order to graduate early and help her relocate to Aurora, Colorado. She did… and though women and Latinas were scarcely visible in television, she dreamed of a future in broadcast journalism. From an early age, Casandra wanted children and loved to write. She began her career in television (writing and reporting on camera) at the age of 18. She also began raising two very successful children as a single mom. Throughout her career, she became an award winning, television producer/program creator (receiving both the Imagen and Golden Eagle Awards); was executive producer of both public affairs and children’s programming at KWHY-TV, Channel 22; and worked on camera hosting public affairs talk shows for many years. More distinctive opportunities came her way, however her desire to write children’s books and to blaze new trails in the publishing world became irrepressible. Her dreams today focus on empowering youth, writing (particularly about God’s love for them), and raising money for the impoverished through organizations like Hope Worldwide https://www.hopeww.org/sslpage.aspx. Throughout her life, she has been passionate about hands-on giving to the community and has received many forms of appreciation (including a congressional commendation) for her efforts. She has served on several boards including Communications Bridge Institute, training disadvantaged youth in television production; St. Anne’s, building futures for at risk teens and unwed mothers; HOPE, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality; the American Diabetes Association fund raising committee; and the Consumer Advisory Committee for the California Contractors State Licensing Board. Casandra is also a recipient of La Opinion’s 2012 Mujeres Destacadas (Exceptional Women) Award. She is completely smitten with her husband, two children, and four grand babies who inspired Light Riders. Follow her @casandratweets and @Lightersbook on Twitter. Her blog is at http://www.shewentthere.wordpress.com. Direct Contact: Lightridersbook@gmail.com
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6 Responses to He Changed His Stars

  1. My family is voting for Jose to send him to Congress and make a difference in our community! The Central Valley needs his leadership to bring positive change, especially for our youths.

  2. Mary Wardell says:

    Jose attended the University of the Pacific where I went to college as well. We were both able to attend on a scholarship program that Central Valley black and brown families and community folks fought for, in the late 60’s and early 70’s, to get just a few of their local children from the city of Stockton and nearby agricultural communities, who showed academic promise and who were 1st in their family to go to college, an opportunity for a 4-year university education. That program at Pacific was called the Community Involvement Program – it made the difference for a lot of us. Jose used that opportunity he received to excel and now to also reciprocate leadership to his community.

    • Love hearing about this Dr. Wardell! So exciting to get the background story and find out that you share such important common ground. Clearly more voters need to know about these success stories and the historical footprints behind them from people like you. I just shared this post to his Facebook page and hope he gets to see your comments as well. Much love and I hope we get to talk soon. ❤

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