By Natalie Neumann
A 23-year-old graduate of the University of Virginia who created a nonprofit group to help tackle the AIDS epidemic in Washington has been named a Rhodes Scholar.
UVA Graduate Tyler Spencer learned about a group that trains star athletes in South Africa to teach about HIV prevention and adapted the program for the District. He has recruited more than 100 volunteers and college athletes to work with students in after-school programs and through the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Spencer, a native of Staunton, Virginia, says a study abroad trip in southern Africa changed his life when he saw the impact of HIV and AIDS on a community in Mozambique. With the Rhodes scholarship, Spencer will study ways to evaluate the effectiveness of HIV prevention programs at the University of Oxford in England.