UMBC Watch

"The Shriver Center is one of UMBC's most impressive achievements. Students who work with the Shriver Center develop the desire to help those in need and to give something back to the community. UMBC and the region benefit significantly from the Center's efforts."

--President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

UMBC's Shriver Center Celebrates Five Years of Service, Achievements

June 4, 1999 This past academic year marked the fifth anniversary of UMBC's Shriver Center. Since its inception, the Center has linked the work of the University with the needs of the community, tapping the resources of higher education to create solutions to urgent social problems. Named in honor of Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Center is guided by an advisory board that includes such noted figures as Robert Coles, Bill Moyers, Cornel West, and Maria Shriver.

"The Shriver Center demonstrates that the aim of higher education is not only to prepare students for productive careers, but also to help develop citizens who can promote the public good," says John Martello, Vice Provost for Community Partnerships and the Center's executive director, in describing the Center's mission. In recognition of Eunice and Sargent Shriver's contributions to the Center's development, and their life-long commitments to public service, UMBC presented Mr. and Mrs. Shriver with honorary Doctor of Public Service degrees at the UMBC Graduate School Commencement on May 21.

Headquartered at UMBC, the Shriver Center's many programs focus on service learning, service delivery, and professional practice, ranging from internships and co-op placements for college students to social care programs that tackle mental retardation, delinquency, school drop-out, and joblessness. The Center has 12 field offices across Maryland and six throughout the United States, and a combined staff of nearly 300.

The Shriver Peaceworker Program has attracted over 50 former Peace Corps volunteers engaged in graduate study, community service, and ethical reflection at UMBC and other Maryland institutions.

The Choice, Choice Middle Schools, and Choice Jobs programs have provided around-the-clock intensive supervision and case management to tackle the problems of delinquency, school drop-out, and joblessness. U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno has called Choice one of the most successful programs of its type in the nation. The programs have served over 5,000 of Maryland's most troubled youth, and have been replicated in both San Diego, California and Hartford, Connecticut.

The national Community Lead Education and Reduction Corps (CLEARCorps USA), with sites in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Portland, and Detroit, has successfully completed lead risk-reduction work in over 300 homes and protected over 500 at-risk children under six years old.

The Higher Education Consortium and Presidents Council unites Baltimore's public and private colleges and universities in the development of academically based community service, new coursework, and applied research.

Maryland Police Corps, one of the nation's first Police Corps training academies, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and provides innovative training for college graduates who become community-oriented police professionals. Vice President Al Gore addressed the second Police Corps graduation in February, and the program now has over 70 graduates serving as police officers in Baltimore and in Charleston, South Carolina.

Funding in 1998-99 includes $4.5 million from the U.S. Department of Justice; $2.375 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; $1 million from the Corporation for National Service; $4 million from the State of Maryland; and nearly $700,000 from local governments, the private sector, and private foundations.

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