Before Bluford was the first African American astronaut in space, he was a West Philadelphia kid with a passion for airplanes.
"I didn't lose it in junior high school, I didn't lose it in high school, I maintained it and here I am, 76-years-old, and I can look back and say that has been the foundation of my career," he said.
Decades later, another West Philly kid attended the same elementary school when it was renamed to honor Bluford. His passion was music but he was inspired by Bluford's story and achieved his own success.
In a happy coincidence, rapper Chill Moody was also featured at the innovation festival and got the chance to reveal the connection in a surprise visit to Bluford's talk.
"You continue to be an inspiration for me and I'm sure millions of other people," he added.
Moody also wrote the signature music for the festival, which continues through Thursday.