Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1921-2009) graduated from college with a sociology degree and became a social worker for government programs that assisted women and juvenile delinquents. In politics, Eunice was no cookie cutter: she was a democrat but advocated pro-life, and she was a democrat whom republicans loved. Eunice was the recipient of numerous awards from both republican and democratic politicians for her volunteer work, and she has received honors designated only for presidents and first ladies, though she never served in these positions.
In 1962, Eunice founded Camp Shriver, a sports organization for individuals with disabilities. This organization would later be known as the Special Olympics.
In her own words, Eunice empowered people with disabilities:
“You are the stars and the world is watching you. By your presence, you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope. A message of victory. The right to play on any playing field – you have earned it. The right to study in any school – you have earned it. The right to hold a job – you have earned it. The right to be anyone’s neighbor – you have earned it!”
Listen to Eunice’s speech here:
Do you feel that American schools and workplaces have improved in including individuals with disabilities?