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NASA astronaut and Cal Poly alum Victor Glover inspires from space

Glover was president of Cal Poly's National Society of Black Engineers when he was attending the university.

Astronaut and Cal Poly alumnus Victor Glover took the time to speak Wednesday with students and members of Cal Poly's National Society of Black Engineers—also known as NSBE—and he did so live from the International Space Station. 

While holding a mic and floating in the International Space Station, Glover connected to Cal Poly NSBE members to provide advice and talk about life in space.

NSBE member Kaiden Stephens described it as a historical moment, being able to watch the event live with his family. 

“My grandma was just reminiscing about how when my mother was little, she got to watch the first astronaut go to the moon," Stephens said. "Now they are sitting here in the room with me experiencing this event.”

Many of the students asked Glover for advice on how to overcome the struggles of self-doubt that may be holding them back from reaching for the stars the way he has. 

“Sometimes, you just have to keep your feet moving, and that's it—it’s just effort," Glover said. "It’s not being smart, it’s not being good-looking, it’s not being the funniest person in the room. It’s being the hardest working person in the room. The beautiful thing about hard work? You can control it right now.”

Cal Poly NSBE chapter also invited third grader Yaphet from Toronto to speak with Glover. While holding onto his spacecraft Lego set and wearing a NASA space suit, Yaphet had some technical space questions for Glover since he also dreams of going to space one day. 

“And what advice would you give to children like me?” Yaphet asked.

Glover said his biggest advice would be "giving it your all in everything you do" and to never stop learning, even when you’re done with school. 

“Be a good teammate," Glover said. "Be good to the people around you, and they will pay that back to you. That is the secret to not only achieving success, but having a good understanding of what success should be.”

Glover also encouraged Cal Poly students not be dismayed about the news they are seeing in the world right now that they may not agree with, and that change will come from them one day.

"When you look up and you see us older folks letting you down, you see young folks like you making that positive change and impact on your community," Glover said. "So I just want you to keep doing what you’re doing, because you guys are making the world a better place.”

Glover is the first Black astronaut to live aboard the International Space Station. He is now 58 days into a six-month mission.

Angel Russell is a former KCBX News reporter who started her career in journalism as a reporter and producer for KREX on Colorado's Western Slope; she later moved to the Central Coast to work for KSBY as weekend anchor and weekday reporter. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing guitar and piano.
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