I didn’t know her personally, but I met her once at UC Irvine when her company “Sally Ride Science” had a special event on campus. There were seminars, she gave a talk/slideshow about her life as an astronaut, and of course, she signed autographs. She was very nice and patient, and she was in fact inspirational.
I love space exploration, so I left the event especially happy to have been able to meet her and to have an autographed picture. But I also left the event impressed and pleased to see how she was using her fame for such a noble cause: to encourage and to inspire young girls to go the non traditional way, ie. to study in science, engineering and mathematics.
I have no doubt that a lot of young kids were and are positively influenced by the “Sally Ride experience” and that it will continue … Long life to Sally Ride Science.