Recognized as often for his hard work in the community as he is for his hard hits on the football field, Brooks has made it his personal mission to positively impact the lives of youth throughout the Tampa Bay area through his foundation , Derrick Brooks Charities, Inc.
The Brooks Bunch program served as the cornerstone of Derrick Brooks’ community involvement leading the way for the formation of Derrick Brooks Charities, Inc. The Brooks Bunch was founded in 1997, and consisted of youth from the Wilbert Davis, Ybor City, and Brandon Boys & Girls Clubs. As a rookie, Brooks began to visit the Boys & Girls Clubs as a way to encourage and motivate the children to excel in the classroom. During one visit, Brooks realized through a conversation with a young girl that the kids at the club had not experienced things that average Americans take for granted. Thus, the idea behind the Brooks Bunch was born.
What started as a day trip on an airplane to Fort Lauderdale has blossomed into a program that incorporates a classroom element, a panel presentation, and behavior and grade assessments, all while leading up to trips around the country and around the globe. Brooks has accompanied his Bunch on a number of educational journeys including a college tour to New York, Chicago, and Tallahassee, and trips to Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and the western United States. In 2000 and 2005, Brooks Bunch members who earned their way traveled with Brooks to South Africa where they visited Johannesburg, Cape Town, Robben Island, and Sabi Sabi safari camp. In 2015 Derrick has once again decided to get back on the road with the educational field trips. In June of 2016 the Brooks Bunch took a college tour to FSU,UCF,FAMU,Spelman & Morehouse colleges! The next Brook Bunch trip is scheduled for June of 2017.
In addition to the Brooks Bunch program, Derrick Brooks Charities, Inc., includes annual programs such as the Brooks Bunch Business Boot Camp in partnership with Fifth Third Bank teaching high school students financial literacy. Additional programs through Derrick Brooks Charities Youth Programs includes: Rites of Passage Program, a mentoring program for young ladies, as well as the annual Thanksgiving Feeding, and Christmas Party. Derrick Brooks Charities has served approximately 3,000 youth in 10 schools, two Neighborhood Service Centers, the Boys and Girls Club and the Juvenile Diversion/Teen Court Program. In addition, the charity has helped to graduate over 65 students from college, in addition to students in medical school, multiple young adults in graduate school and over 100 students enrolling in undergraduate school.
The most recent addition to Derrick Brooks Charities educational programs is the Train Up Tuff Talk Program which is serving students after school in Hillsborough county, Springhill Park Community Center and also at PACE Center for Girls. The Train Up program offers High School and Middle School students an engaging alternative to the traditional academic and life skills training. Derrick has also partnered with Under Armour to bring the “Under the Lights Flag Football” program to his hometown of Pensacola, FL. It is open to all kids from kindergarten through eighth grade, divided up in age divisions. For youths who can’t afford to play, sponsors would be secured to offer four scholarship spots on each team. For more information, please email coach Dave Wilson.
DBC/Wellcare Employability Skills Program
Derrick meeting with students at Frost Elementary
Derrick at the 2016 Health & Wellness Event
with our community partners from Publix