Chief Executive Officer, Community Education Group (CEG)
“The core of our program is HIV testing, counseling and outreach. But we also recruit, retain and hire those who have suffered from substance abuse, addiction, illness and other personal struggles, and we train them to become health workers, Toni Young says. When I see the light go on in their eyes about doing worthwhile, community-focused work in public health, that’s the most rewarding part of my job. A leader in the field of HIV/AIDS outreach to African-American communities and women, Young has racked up more than 18 years of experience in community mobilization, fiscal management and creating collaborative partnerships to meet the diverse needs of marginalized communities. Besides founding the CEG in Washington, D.C. in 1993, she has chaired HIV prevention planning councils in multiple cities, and served on numerous federal panels the CDC Sterile Needles Committee, the CDC meeting on woman-to-woman transmission, and the Ryan White Title I and II Review Committees among them. Now, she leads the CDC’s efforts to expand its reach. The group already has more than 30 outreach workers in the field using mobile testing units to educate, test and help clients who are hardest to contact. It’s motivating to look back on difficult times and know whatever I’m facing could be worse, she says. I think, ˜If not me, then who?