A Woman of Valor
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
As I go through the journey of my life, I have become very clear that it is defined by the people we meet and the example they set. I feel so lucky to say that Eunice Kennedy Shriver is my mentor, role model, teacher, and friend. In 1974 I got a call that would forever change my life. I had just started my first job out of college where I was told to start programs for the many people being released from state schools in Texas. These people had been warehoused and treated so poorly. We were going to help them transition into the community and create recreational, vocational and education programs. On my second day at work, I received a call from Eunice Kennedy Shriver asking me to support a newly formed program called Special Olympics. We took on the role of lead agency in Houston, and I knew the voiceless had been given a voice. Over the next many years I have served in many capacity from being Chair of Texas Special Olympics to working with Special Olympics International in my current field of event marketing. So many people will always talk about what Mrs. Shriver has done for the athletes. No doubt she has been an enormous global catalyst for change, and for enormous success. She changed disability to ability and can't to could. She showed us how we all will live up to a self fulfilling prophecy that is fueled by encouragement, and training and a sense of success. She gave families hope and athletes a new label of respect. She did not give us a fish to eat for a day but taught us to fish for a lifetime. She is in a single word, a champion. Yet to also witnessed a character that is so honorable is what I will always cherish. I believe that the success that I have as community volunteer and a business woman and as a wife and mother is because of her shining example of hard work, determination and decency. Service is so much at the core of who she is, and her family follows in that vision. She walks the walk and talks the talk, and she has fueled our passions and our dreams and our outcomes. Most of all what I have learned from her is the power of the team. She never feels the credit belongs to one person. She knows it is teamwork that gets the job done and a humble persona that turns credit into a legacy...and what an amazing legacy she has created that will carry on through the generations. I feel blessed I was a pioneer with her and that I have been touch by this incredible woman of valor.
President, CE Group
Janet Holliday is the President of the CE Group.