Using his expertise as a rock climber, Herrington found work as a member of a survey crew in the Colorado mountains. Exposed to the practical application of real world mathematics, he found the passion for learning that had eluded him. Following the advice of the lead project engineer, Herrington returned to college and graduated with an engineering degree. He was also fortunate to meet a retired Navy captain who encouraged him to apply to the Navy, which led to a 22-year career as a Naval Aviator, test pilot, and astronaut.
His historic mission to the International Space Station (ISS) was the culmination of years of experience and training with men and women with diverse cultural and technical backgrounds, and provided Herrington with a unique perspective that he enjoys sharing with audiences worldwide. “From lift off to completing three space walks, mission STS-113 was more exciting and challenging than I could have imagined.” But Herrington’s work didn’t stop when he returned to earth. After a successful career as an astronaut, he ventured into the commercial space arena and eventually found a new passion.
Following a 4,300-mile bicycle ride across the United States, Herrington returned to university and earned a doctorate in Education. With humility and humor, John shares his stories of challenge, leadership, motivation, and mentorship with diverse audiences of all ages and occupations. His multimedia presentations inspire and entertain, and challenge people to seek out the best in themselves and in service to others.
Anyone who is interested in trying to find a new way to inspire themselves or their communities will find Commander Herrington’s stories of struggle, mentorship, and persistence a welcome reminder that our dreams and goals are gifts to pursue and enjoy with the world.
- Living Your Dreams
- I Dreamed of Being an Astronaut
- Native American Astronaut Encourages Students to Dream
- Education Makes Dreams Come True
-Director of Indian Education, Redwood Valley High School
“Both you [Key Speakers] and John Herrington were amazing to work with. You made every effort to be accommodating and to carefully address all the details. And John was exceptionally generous, fun, engaging and inspiring. John was definitely one of the most popular guests and everyone wanted to get their picture with him, which he always obliged. He was at all times cheerful, even when we were transporting him to early morning on-air interviews in frigid temperatures, or dashing him away from one event to another. All of us connected with the DisruptED conference would like to express our sincere thanks to Commander Herrington for being such a kind, open-minded and inspiring guest. We would recommend him as a speaker to any other organization in a heartbeat.”
-Chief Marketing Officer, Information Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba
“John Herrington was amazing! Only good words from both staff and students. He had us laughing and kept the students entertained. All the students had numerous questions and he answered as much as he could in the time he had. He is definitely great with kids, and we appreciate him coming to our band schools. Thank you so much.”
-PSE Coordinator, Penticton Indian Band Education Department