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A young girl and young woman with Eunice.
Lesson 6: Becoming a Changemaker like Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Learn how certain social skills can help you become a change maker like Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Read through the questions and think about each question or talk about them in a group.

How do you think students with intellectual disabilities felt not having the opportunity to play? Why?

Skill Vocabulary: Perspective Taking

To imagine what it would be like in someone else’s shoes. To take on a new point of view to better understand someone’s feelings & actions.

Can you think of a time in your life when you saw exclusion like this OR when you experienced this yourself? How did you feel?

Skill Vocabulary: Empathy

The ability to understand how someone feels due to a shared connection.

Imagine you could go back and say or do something that would lead to a more inclusive opportunity. Think of how you could use yours, and others, feelings to help make your point.

Skill Vocabulary: Relationship Building

To strengthen a connection with someone by showing trust, respect, communication, and more. This can sometimes take social courage.

You've thought about or discussed how empathy, perspective taking, and self-awareness can help build relationships. How can you continue to use these skills in your life to make more impactful changes?

Skill Vocabulary: Responsible Decision Making

Using information to make choices that can help solve problems in society and benefit and include diverse people!

Eunice Kennedy Shriver displayed these 3 important skills in her life’s work.

Flip each card to read about how Eunice displayed the skill in her life.


She connected with her sister Rosemary, who had an intellectual disability. Even though they played together, she saw the obstacles Rosemary faced and lack of opportunity while growing up.


She noticed patterns as she got older. She discovered how other families and people experienced the same obstacles as Rosemary. She connected with these families.


She demonstrated social courage and took action by opening a camp at her house for people with ID. For years, she took action and used her voice to push for opportunities for people with ID, eventually creating the Special Olympics USA Summer Games and ultimately Special Olympics.

Special Olympics Values

Special Olympics carries the same values as Eunice, and passes on the skills needed to support future change makers. Everyday youth, coaches, educators, and more are sharing stories & perspectives, they are developing relationships, and they are taking social courage to promote inclusive mindsets & communities.

Eunice Kennedy and Rosemary Shriver.
What skill did Eunice Kennedy Shriver display?
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