Despite the rain, over 100 students from the DC area participated in a kick-off event for the 19th Annual International AIDS Conference at Bell Multicultural High School, Youth Score 2012. With with the overall mission of “Uniting for an AIDS-Free Generation,” Grassroots partnered with UNAIDS, The World Bank, The Magic Johnson Foundation, the DC Department of Health, Metro Teen AIDS, Advocates for Youth, Soccer for Good, and DC Youth Force to provide a day of soccer and basketball playing, music entertainment and HIV/AIDS prevention education. Special guests included UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sibide, President Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, World Cup Champion soccer player, Lorrie Fair, former Washington Bullet, Michael Adams, MLS Seattle Sounders player Steve Zakuani, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador and news anchor James Chau, WKYS’s Angie Ange, and many more.
We were honored to get a shoutout from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who praised the Grassroots athletes that go into middle schools to educate and mentor young kids and provide solid role models. ”We know that the voices of young people can change the world…this effort is all about empowering, educating, and involving young people.”
More than 10 Grassroot athletes from Howard, Georgetown, and GWU helped make the event a success, doing everything from recruiting youth to facilitating Grassroot games as part of the official program.