In the upcoming weeks, you will learn more about the staff of Community Education Group. Seven people will be highlighted including our Executive Director, the Manager of Testing and Field Operations, and several other positions of support that make CEG such a dynamic community resource.
Toni Young – Founder and Executive Director
When first approaching Toni Young, it is very intimidating. She has a demeanor about her that is strong, tough, and ready to fight to get where her organization is today. She founded her organization in 1992 under the title of “the National Women HIV/AIDS Project” and was later changed in 1996 to CEG. However, during the interview I noticed how loving and giving Young is as a person, leader, creator, and director of CEG. With a great sense of humor and love for her staff, she has really come a long way with CEG. I guess Young was right after all, she really isn’t mean as people think she is.
1. What is your role at CEG?
I am the founder and executive director of CEG. My major role at CEG is to have a constant vision for the organization and to provide resources for the staff so they can do their work properly- meaning I need to have the right people and money to implement these services.
2. What do you hope to achieve at CEG?
I hope to have a community level impact. In order to do this, I have to hire and have staff that is willing to grow to have a passion for HIV/AIDS and community service. This way they will be able to really impact the lives of people with HIV or people at risk for HIV/AIDS. Lastly, I hope for CEG to become synonymous with good hard work.
3. Tell me your greatest accomplishment as it relates to CEG or otherwise?
Finding CEG in 1993 and now in 2010 to still be here on target and doing better than ever.
4. What makes you stand out from others?
[Laughs] Now that’s a question you should ask others…
Herman Williams (HIV outreach tester), “I’ve known her [Toni] since July 2008. In comparison to other bosses she supports us from a distance. She watches without you necessarily knowing it. She always knows where you are in your work and she shows her appreciation through things like taking us out to nice dinners. Toni is always willing to share the credit and I always get ‘good vibes’ from her. She is not an untouchable boss.”
5. What are your hobbies?
Playing with Benny, my big fat dog and my cat, Kozmo. I love to travel - one of my favorite places is Rwanda. I love kids and to work for social change.
6. How do you like your peanut butter smooth or chunky?
It depends. For a peanut butter and GRAPE jelly sandwich, definitely chunky peanut butter. But for a Reese’s peanut butter cup, it definitely has to be smooth.