As the U.S. Mint has officially added one of our beloved past recipients, Dr. Sally Ride, to the U.S. quarter dollar, we would like to celebrate her legacy. Dr. Ride was the first American woman in space and first acknowledged queer astronaut. In 1983, she received the Samuel S. Beard Award for Outstanding Public Service By An Individual 35 Years & Under.  


Dr. Ride was a long-time advocate for improved science education and had a passion for helping young girl and women foster their interest in science and technology. She co-wrote seven science books for children during her lifetime, taught at Stanford and USC San Diego, and initiated and directed NASA-funded education programs for middle school students. One of her endeavors was Imaginary Lines, which was initially started to encourage girls from grades 5-8 to foster their interest in math and science fields. The scope has since expanded to be open to students of all genders. Dr. Ride and her life partner Tam O’Shaughnessy also established Sally Ride Science: a nonprofit organization that encourages children from all backgrounds, but especially girls, to take an interest in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.  

The impact Dr. Sally Ride had on the world around her in her lifetime is profound. She shattered expectations and glass ceilings for women and girls across the globe, and created space for students to further their interest in STEM.

Even now, Sally Ride’s legacy inspires us to reach for the stars.