When I was 11, I came to JPL for the 2004 Open House, which was only a few months after the landing of Spirit and Opportunity.
My mom took me to a talk led by a woman who was in mission control during the landing of the rovers, and she played a video of the landing. The landing video and her enthusiasm were so inspiring, that I asked the woman during Q&A, "How do I get your job?" I talked with the woman afterward, and she told me to work hard, take every science class I could and to never give up.
In my 11-year-old mind, I somehow understood the importance of space exploration. From then on, I knew I wanted to be part of NASA missions, particularly for Mars, and so far, I think I'm heading in the right direction.