From a humble beginning…
Jose Hernandez was born in French Camp, California in 1962. For much of his childhood, Jose worked side by side with his parents and siblings picking crops across the San Joaquin Valley. Despite their humble beginnings, Jose’s parents always stressed to their children the importance of education and the need to work hard to achieve their dreams. After hard days in the field, Jose’s father warned his children that without an education, they would continue to work in the fields, and their future would be “on their hands.”
…He reached for the stars
Helped develop lifesaving mammograms.
Jose went on to become an engineer at the prestigious Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In his time at Livermore, Jose was recognized for his work helping to develop a way to turn Cold War technology into the first full-field digital mammography imaging system, which has become an invaluable tool in increasing the early detection of breast cancer.
Jose was also nationally recognized for his work on behalf of both the Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy on Russian nuclear non-proliferation issues. These issues continue to be important to him today.
Never giving up on his American Dream …
Becoming an astronaut was not automatic. Jose applied to NASA 12 times and after failing the make the cut, he strove to improve himself, received his pilot’s license, became a master SCUBA diver, and learned to speak conversational Russian.
… And flying a mission to space.
The hard work paid off. In 2004, Jose reached a lifelong goal of becoming a NASA astronaut, and in August of 2009 he flew on a 14-day mission as the flight engineer on Space Shuttle Discovery’s mission to the International Space Station.
Putting solutions before politics.
But as Jose travels across the country, he has been troubled by what he has seen. In town after town, families are struggling and parents are worried that the American Dream is disappearing for their children.
Even more troubling for Jose is that no one in Washington, Republican or Democrat, seems to get it. Instead of working to find solutions, politicians are battling with each other to score political points. But as an engineer, Jose is dedicated to solve problems. In fact, he believes that Congress could use more problems-solvers – not more lawyers who are trained in how to argue.
That’s why Jose is running for Congress. His new mission is to make sure the American Dream is there for all our children, just as it was there for him.