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White House Author

Kathryn Clark

After returning from Volunteer service in Sierra Leone, Clark initially became an area coordinator for Special Olympics in North Carolina. When she returned to the Peace Corps in the 1980s, and at the request of founding Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver, she became the first Volunteer to launch a Special Olympics-based service project. Clark led efforts to establish Special Olympics programs in Jamaica, even recruiting and training the Volunteers who work with athletes. As a result of Clark's success in Jamaica, Special Olympics hired her to establish new programs across the Caribbean and Africa. As director of Caribbean programs, director of Africa Programs and, currently, director of athlete leadership, she laid the groundwork for 43 new programs that serve more than 100,000 athletes. Those who are familiar with her efforts note that she is still fondly referred to as "Mother Kathryn" in Africa. A resident of DeFuniak Springs, Florida, Clark earned degrees in special education and a Master of Social Science from Syracuse University. According to Clark, "Peace Corps and Special Olympics are very similar -- both work with volunteers in countries throughout the world, promoting hope, change, and fulfillment to everyone they touch."