Community Champions Presented By Capital One: Toni Young

For twenty years, Toni Young has been dedicated to coordinating services for people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in her community. Women account for more than one in four new HIV/AIDS diagnoses and deaths in the United States. HIV/AIDS have affected nearly 280,000 women in America and continues to grow.

In 1993, Young founded Community Education Group, formally known as the National Women and HIV/AIDS Project (NWAP), an organization committed to empowering women of color and addressing issues with HIV/AIDS. Young seeks to expand the organization’s efforts to better deal with the challenges in her South East DC community.

The nation’s capital is rated in the top five metropolitan areas for reported AIDS cases. Three percent of residents in the nation’s capital are infected by HIV/AIDS, numbers that are similar to third world countries, with the highest rates in Ward 6.

Community Education Group’s mission is to stop the spread of HIV and eliminate health disparities in neighborhoods. Young believes that can be achieved through proper training and education in hard to reach areas and other organizations.

“I hope to have a community level impact. I have to hire and have staff that is willing to grow, to have a passion for HIV/AIDS and community service,” said Young. “I hope for CEG to become synonymous with good hard work.”

Community Education Group is persistent in creating and expanding programs and projects and providing tools and resources to generate HIV/AIDS awareness. In 2005 the group accomplished 250 HIV testing’s in the local DC area and in 2010 a recorded 6,500 residents were tested.

“We’re on track,” explained Young. “By [the end of] 2011, 10,000 will be tested.”

Young continues her mission by maintaining a focus on those that dealing with HIV/AIDS in her community.

The Washington Mystics acknowledge Toni Young for her dedication to make a difference by helping communities in the district that are affect by HIV/AIDS and the organizations that serve them.