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Mark Shriver chosen as Loyola’s 2014 Commencement Speaker

Mark Shriver, Loyola’s recently announced 2014 commencement speaker, has been acknowledged for his work for children and families. In 1994 he received an honorary degree from Loyola after he created The Choice Program, which serves at risk youth with community-based counseling. After such success with The Choice Program, Shriver established The Choice Jobs Program Inc. which helps former Choice students get a job and support them as they are working.

Advocacy runs in the Shriver family. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of John F. Kennedy, founded the Special Olympics in 1968 and served as a voice for individuals with intellectual disabilities until her death in 2009. Maria Shriver, journalist and former First Lady of California is well known for her Shriver Reports,which cover various topics that affect women.

Shriver is the senior vice president of strategic initiatives for Save the Children’s U.S. Programs. Save the Children is an “international non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries.” Their mission is to provide “a fair start” for all children, especially a safe and healthy environment where children are provided with basic nutrition and education.

Shriver’s outreach to children is instinctive, after growing up with a family that has always had a positive and influential presence in organizations and communities. He began advocating for children while holding a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1994-2002. He also held prominent positions such as chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, and chair of the Children and Youth subcommittee of Maryland’s House Ways and Means Committee.

Children in poverty are at the heart of Shriver’s work. When he joined Save the Children in 2003, he helped develop its literacy and health programs for children living in impoverished rural areas of the country. When one in four children live in poverty today, individuals like Mark Shriver help send a national message that one person can make an impact on communities when they are passionate and committed to their work.

In 2005, he created the Save the Children’s domestic emergency response program that would come to the aid of families when a disaster occurred. He was the force behind the creation of the National Commission on Children and Disasters in Congress. Democratic Senator Harry Reid appointed him to the commission.

Shriver is also a published author, his works include: A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver, published in 2012. He lives in Bethesda, Md. with his wife and three children.

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Mark Shriver chosen as Loyola’s 2014 Commencement Speaker