Shannon Walker, the first Houston-raised astronaut, is up in space doing space-y things, but she took some time today to hook up with her old `hood.
A video link to the three HISD schools Walker attended -- Parker Elementary (which also claims Beyonce as an alumnus), Johnston Middle School and Westbury High -- allowed students to ask about what she's up to.
"I think it's very exciting that Parker, Johnston and Westbury have all come together because as you know those are the schools I attended in HISD before I went on to Rice University and then started working at NASA. I think it's great. We are really excited to talk to you today."
There was plenty of encouraging kids to stay in school.
Space Station Commander Doug Wheelock told the students, "You can either come up with a solution or let the problem steal your dreams from you. I don't like that second option. Just stay focused on what your goals are, stay determined and believe in yourself. The sky is no longer the limit. You can go to the stars."
And HISD's Dallas Dance, who oversees middle schools, also had some words."Looking at this downlink gives you the opportunity to realize that you can be anything that you want to be. I don't want your friends to stop you. I don't want anyone to tell you that you can't do it," he said. "I want you to think about your dreams as you are listening to Shannon, think about what you want to be when you grow up and accomplish that."
If you're keeping score at home, in the battle of Houston-raised astronauts, the score is the sometimes-maligned Westbury 1, Rest of Houston 0.