Capital One Bank Community Champions Winner: Deidra Sanders

Georgetown graduate Deidra Sanders is not only a leader on the track, but in her community as well. As the managing director of the Grassroots Project, she oversees the team leaders that educate the community.

The Grassroot Project�s mission is to use sports to educate at-risk youth in the community about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. The unique student-run organization uses the popularity of Division I college athletes to engage the students in interactive learning increase their knowledge and change their attitudes towards HIV/AIDS. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of every 20 adults in Washington, D.C., is HIV positive. 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. For two years, the Grassroot Project has been persistent in their mission in creating a curriculum that focuses on a fun and safe learning environment through a series of activities and games that allow kids to address the sensitive issues of HIV/AIDS and to share their thoughts towards the diseases. Grassroot Project believes that education and open dialogue is the first step in prevention.

Since 2009, Deidra and Grassroot Project have trained 257 college athletes from local universities such as Georgetown, Howard and George Washington that have joined the initiative to help educate 3,000 students in 30 schools in the local area.

Sanders� ultimate goal is to not only use sports and athletes as a vehicle for social change, but to empower today�s youth with the education they can use to change their community and lives.

As an elite athlete in her own right, Deidra has earned a Big East Championship in Track and Field and is on the Executive Board for the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.

The Washington Mystics acknowledge Deidra Sanders and the Grassroot Project for their dedication and contribution to the community.

Presented by Capital One Bank