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 once again decided to get back on the road with the educational field trips, the students travelled to Washington, DC and Cincinnati, Ohio visiting historical sites, financial learning centers and college campus Tours. In 2016 the focus was on college tours- in Atlanta they visited Morehouse and Spellman, in Tallahassee Florida State University and FAMU and while in Orlando they were able to tour the University of Central Florida. This past year our group travelled to Boston and Philadelphia with a focus on College, Career and Finance. This program has recently been renamed the Brooks Bunch Business Academy.
The most recent addition to Derrick Brooks Charities Programs is the 306 African American History Program which has been implemented in five Hillsborough County Middle Schools serving 400 students.
Derrick Brooks and Mr. DeBartolo at BDCHS
Wellcare Employability Skills Class of 2018