Dr. Ellen Ochoa became the first Latina to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993. She has flown in space four times, logging nearly 1,000 hours. Prior to her astronaut career, Dr. Ochoa was a research engineer and an inventor, with three patents for optical systems. She was the 11th Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, from 2013 until her retirement in May 2018. She currently serves on several boards including as Chair of the National Science Board and participates in many outreach events. She is honored to have six schools named for her and has been inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the California Hall of Fame, and the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.
Marina Pires (songwriter) is an actress/singer-songwriter born in Brazil, and raised in sunny South Florida. She is due to make her Broadway debut as “Jasmine” in Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway in 2021. She’s looking forward to the return of live events and to join in safely rebuilding our performing arts community together. Past credits include: “Gloria Estefan” in On Your Feet! (Broadway First National Tour & Regional Premier), PHISH at Madison Square Garden, “Vanessa” In The Heights (Dallas Theatre Center), Evita at Asolo Rep, “Rapunzel” Into The Woods (Adrienne Arsht Center w/ Tituss Burgess). Marina is also co-founder of HeartstringsKids.com: An online children’s edutainment series promoting music & mindfulness. As a songwriter, Marina’s lyrics have been featured in the Off-Broadway musical “A Never-Ending Line” & on Broadway Records with “Songs by an Immigrant” both with Jaime Lozano. She also writes & performs with her band, The Heartstrings Project. @marinampires @theheartstringsproject