Photo provided by the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute.

Sargent Shriver Program for Leadership in Public Service


The Sargent Shriver Program for Leadership in Public Service is a partnership between the Sargent Shiver Peace Institute (SSPI), the UChicago Institute of Politics, and the College. The Shriver Program brings to life the legacy of Sargent Shriver, who personified the spirit of public service. He made an enduring impact on America and the world as the founder of the Peace Corps and VISTA, and made his mark in Chicago as president of both the Catholic Interracial Council of Chicago and the Chicago Board of Education.

Each year, the Sargent Shriver Program for Leadership in Public Service, made possible by the generous support of the SSPI, will engage a select group of UChicago undergraduates in a yearlong program of practical training in public service leadership based on the example, achievements, and methods of Sargent Shriver.

As part of the Shriver Program curriculum, Shriver Fellows work collaboratively to develop a program or idea that impacts a Chicago community. Through this initiative, former Shriver cohorts created the Chicago Peace Corps and Boost Chicago.  These programs continue to positively impact diverse communities in Chicago via meaningful service inspired by the life work of Sargent Shiver:

Boost Chicago | Boost Chicago is a student-led initiative inspired by the work and service of Sargent Shriver.  Through a partnership with the Walter H. Dyett High School for the Arts, University of Chicago students seek to resolve youth violence on the South Side by providing resource connection to social services, tutoring for students, and conflict resolution skills.

Chicago Peace Corps | Founded in 2015 by a cohort of students from the Sargent Shriver Program for Leadership in Public Service, the Chicago Peace Corp envisions working to create sustainable peace in the City of Chicago. Reflecting the values embodied by Sargent Shriver’s commitment to serving diverse communities, the Chicago Peace Corps focuses on bringing peace and restorative justice methods to Chicago schools and communities. The Chicago Peace Corps mobilizes youth, communities, and volunteers with conflict resolution skills to create a restorative community and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.

Please contact Sam Gonzalez, Partnerships & Engagement Coordinator, at if you have any questions.

You can learn more about Sargent Shriver and the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute at

The 2016/17 Program: 

From September 2016 to June 2017, the new cohort of Shriver Fellows will engage in hands-on workshops that deepen their understanding of Shriver's approach to social change; develop leadership and professional skills; participate in field trips and site visits to understand first-hand the challenges facing Chicago communities; and work collaboratively to design and launch a program that addresses a critical need. All Shriver Fellows are awarded a $2000 stipend for their participation in the program.