As a kid, I didn't know any scientists. Oh sure, I'd read about all kinds of scientists, so while it didn't immediately come to mind as a typical career choice for a young black kid in an inner-city neighborhood, I also knew it wasn't completely ridiculous either. There was just no guidance for a kid with such aspirations. I suppose I was inspired to pursue science by an eighth grade science teacher I had, but astronomy intrigued me. It was exotic, complicated and multi-faceted. It was also very exciting because for the first 17 years of my life, the greatest scientific endeavor ever, putting people on the Moon, hit a new milestone every year. The work of astronomers, who sought to understand the nature of the expansion of the universe, like Maarten Schmidt and Alan Sandage, was inspirational.