Tyler Spencer- Grassroot Project
Shilpi Gupta - Movie Independent film maker

Tyler Spencer is a graduate of the University of Virginia (2008) with degrees in International Health and Development and Environmental Sciences. His undergraduate studies focused on issues of health promotion and environmental protection in the global South. Under Professors Hanan Sabea, Rebecca Dillingham, Robert Swap, PhD candidate Clare Terni, and several professors from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, he wrote this paper as part of his undergraduate thesis. After being involved as a trip founder with the organization Bike and Build and working on several student-athlete outreach programs, he became interested in better understanding the efficacy of sport initiatives in building successful social and political interventions. He spent two summers in South Africa helping to implement an intervention of Grassroot Soccer, an international NGO that supports soccer-based HIV prevention education programs in sub-Saharan Africa and aims to “use the power of soccer to fight AIDS.” His academic focus stems from a personal reflection on the positive social assets provided by his participation in college athletics along with observations of the absence of this type of social infrastructure in communities he had previously visited in South Africa. Combining service work with evaluative research is a passion he hopes to pursue in his future. How can we bring legitimacy to programs that incorporate sport in development projects, especially in countries where increasing leisure opportunities falls far below more pressing needs such as securing basic health? His goal is to continue work in public service but to always question how we can “make it better.”


Sports as a tool to unite youth from South Africa and Washington, DC in the global fight against AIDS

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Siphokazi Magadla
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