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2011.11.4 Shriver

2011.11.4 Shriver

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Published by annie_mandart

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Published by: annie_mandart on Nov 05, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Timothy Shriver Presents the HWS Community withthe Wise Words of His Mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver
by Annie MandartOn Thursday, October 27th, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister to President John F. Kennedy,followed great women before her in becoming the 38th recipient of the prestigious Hobartand William Smith Colleges Elizabeth Blackwell Award. The award honored KennedyShriver’s creation and founding of the Special Olympics in 1968, an offshoot of her effortswith Camp Shriver, a summer camp for children with learning disabilities. Due to hismother’s passing in August of 2009, Kennedy Shriver’s son, Timothy Perry Shriver,accepted his mother’s award before giving a President’s Forum speech that same night.In 1984, President Ronald Regan awarded Kennedy Shriver with the U.S. PresidentialMedal of Freedom, the highest award and honor that a civilian can receive. KennedyShriver went on to receive the Eagle Award from the United States Sports Academy, theCivitan International World Citizenship Award, and the Theodore Roosevelt Award by theNational Collegiate Athletic Association. In 2006, Kennedy Shriver was named the 9thmost influential individual in the NCAA Centenial celebration’s first century.According to Mr. Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was “enraged” with the treatmentgiven to those with disabilities. Growing up, Kennedy Shriver was always careful to lookafter her older sister, Rosemary, who was born with certain challenges. RosemaryKennedy later became a huge inspiration for Kenedy Shriver's life work.Kennedy Shriver’s backyard summer camp became a reality in 1962, after havingreceived phone calls from concerned mothers who could not get their children intosummer camps due to the childrens’ learning disabilities. The camp was made possibleby the dedication and persistence of volunteers, all college-aged and younger. All through
her years working with disabled individuals, Kennedy Shriver worked diligently to form aninclusive environment that gave way to many social justice movements. Camp Shriver,the first of its sort to make such huge strides, promoted personal growth through supportand athleticism.Currently, the Special Olympics has 3.7 million athletes, 2 million volunteers, and only200 paid staff members, according to Mr. Shriver. Today, China boasts the largestparticipatory involvement by country, India having the second most, the U.S. having thethird most.Mr. Shriver, son to Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Robert Sargent Shriver Jr., founder of thePeace Corps, took the reigns in 1996, and is currently working to expand the efforts of theSpecial Olympics and continue his mother’s vision.Mr. Shriver spoke to the HWS campus community and others of the nature of the SpecialOlympics, noting on the “use [of] sport to transform human perception.” The SpecialOlympics, Mr. Shriver says, embody a sense of support and self-produced advocacy onthe field that in turn radiates through the lives of each volunteer and participant. The speech also put emphasis on the environment surrounding the ideal of intelligence.Mr. Shriver says that reading and math—such as is tested on the SATs—are “too narrow”and do not fully show what an individual may be capable of. The Special Olympics allowsindividuals to show their true potential, through athleticism and good sportsmanship.Amanda Vito—Special Olympics Global Messenger and winner of over 180 medals—waspresent at the ceremony to represent all Special Olympics athletes and the essence of the program. Vito's family moved to the country from Bocata, Columbia 20 years ago.

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