Meet the Founder

Educator Mary Shuttleworth was born in apartheid South Africa where she saw first-hand the devastating effects of discrimination and ignorance. After Mary’s father sent her to Denmark to further her education in the humanities, remembering her friends in South Africa, she determined to find a way to truly help people reach their greatest potential. Believing education to be a powerful tool for inspiring progress in the individual and the world at large, she moved to the United States and started her first non-profit corporation. Mary founded Shuttleworth Leadership Society International (SLSI) in 1998, encompassing a private school with an emphasis on leadership and service.

In 2001, Mary’s passion for human rights, her desire to relieve the suffering of children and her successes in affecting change through education led her to found another not-for-profit organization, Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI)

Mary is Executive Producer of the UNITED music video — co-produced by SLSI, which has won more than a dozen international awards.

Mary has initiated and overseen the development of curricula to teach leadership and responsibility under the curriculum development arm of SLSI, including development of the UNITED Human Rights Handbook, embraced by many educators and youth leaders, including the Nevada PTA.

In the course of her work for SLSI and YHRI, Mary has traveled to over 50 countries meeting with leaders and children alike. For her work with young people around the world, she received the prestigious Pepsi Everyday Freedom Heroes Award, the Ambassadors for Peace Excellence in Leadership Award and she has been honored with recognitions by the Mayor of Los Angeles, the American-Iranian Friendship Association, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, UNICEF, Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights and many others.

As a well-respected educator and founder of SLSI and Youth for Human Rights International, Mary has appeared on national and international radio and TV shows and has been featured in the press. Through her efforts, she has reached millions with her message about the importance of inspiring youth through education.

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