In 1847 a young Quaker woman became the first internationally acclaimed American astronomer. Maria Mitchell was the product of ripples through time which I will trace, beginning with her immigrant ancestors. One of them, Peter Folger, even learned Native American languages to properly negotiate and pay for land. She has left her own ripples, which expanded the opportunities for women astronomers, even through the present time. She daringly allowed nonwhite children to attend a school she founded. Later, as a professor at Vassar College, she demanded and got the same pay as male professors. Her personal philosophy, her maxims, and her actions as an educator inspire me, and have contributed to the heritage of the Unitarian faith, to which she was drawn in her adult life.