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The Grassroot Project (TGP) is harnessing the popularity of sports in a powerful way. In a city that faces an AIDS epidemic on par with several African countries—one in 20 adults in Washington DC is estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS—TGP is using sports and athletes to break the silence around this issue.
Each semester TGP recruits all-star athletes from the top athletic programs at DC universities to become health educators. After undergoing TGP's Athletes2Coaches training program, these athletes partner with P.E. classes at 31 DC schools, rolling out innovative sports-based HIV prevention and life skills programs for hundreds of local youth. At the end of each semester, TGP hosts community events that bring all of its youth together to celebrate what they've learned.
TGP was founded by 40 athletes from Georgetown University in 2009, and in just three years has grown to involve more than 400 athletes from four DC universities. Due to its unique programs and deep impact, TGP's work has been supported by corporations like Nike, MTV, and PNC Bank, and has been featured in The Washington Post, Seventeen Magazine, the BET Awards, CNN International, Good Morning America, and ABC's Emmy-nominated Everyday Health.