Tyler Spencer, a varsity athlete at Georgetown, was alarmed when he learned that DC has the highest HIV rate in the country. So he came up with the idea of recruiting and training college athletes – people kids look up to – to provide HIV education at area schools. The idea caught on (and caught the attention of President Clinton); today, through The Grassroot Project, athletes from four area universities teach a fun, sports-based health education and HIV prevention program that takes place during P.E class. In its first five years, the Project has grown by more than 400%, reaching hundreds of students each year at 43 DC public and charter schools. The organization is poised to reach all DC middle school students by 2018. Evaluations indicate students are reducing risky behaviors by as much as 40% over the course of the eight-week program. Perhaps it's because, in the words of one student, the facilitators are “cooler than our parents and teachers.” Let's expand the reach of this cool program to even more young people.

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Awards & Recognition



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Budget (FY2013)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for The Grassroot Project is: Less than $500k

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