I caught Gene Roddenberry's vision almost independently, when I was very young. But as a student in Nebraska, I felt very alone. Criticized for liking "boy things," there were very few who encouraged me to pursue engineering or my interest in space.
My senior year of high school, in the school library, I found a copy of a magazine, titled "Ad Astra," meaning "to the stars." I loved the phrase, and used it as the tag line for my essay when I applied to Notre Dame. They must have liked it too... but I didn't go there.