Homer Hickam returned to his roots to kick off the 20th Annual Rocket Boys Festival with students in Beckley.
The Rocket Boys author took the stage at Woodrow Wilson High School for a presentation and Q&A session with English and Creative Writing students. He was even joined on stage by one of the original Rocket Boys and childhood friend, Roy Lee Cooke.
Growing up in McDowell County, Hickam stressed to students the importance of believing that success can still come out of growing up in small, underprivileged towns.
“There are a lot of strengths that come from growing up in small places like West Virginia and overcoming some of the trail and tribulations that we have here,” Hickam said.
Hickam will attend a screening of October Sky at the Historic Back Knight Municipal Park before the festival and rocket launching takes place at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.on Saturday.