When former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks was in fifth-grade, he got great scores in all his subjects except one.
Brooks said his report card would show time and time again his unsatisfactory performance in citizenship. He was a disruptive class clown, disrespectful to his teachers and fellow students.
His parents warned him multiple times that if his behavior didn’t improve, they’d show him who the real class clown was. True to their word, the next time they heard he was disruptive, Brooks’ dad came to the school and used his belt on Brooks in front of the entire class.
“I thank God that my dad loved me enough to do that,” said Brooks, who is now president of the Tampa Bay Storm and co-founder of .
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He told the story Wednesday as guest speaker at the where 20 students were honored. His goal was to illustrate the importance of citizenship and education.
The chamber’s annual Student Awards Luncheon recognizes one student from each Temple Terrace-area school for their contributions to society. Students are chosen based on academic excellence, participation in extra curricular activities; community involvement; leadership capabilities; and citizenship among peers. Each student receives a special plaque.
This year’s winners included:
- Victoria Martin; Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School
- Tyler Weed;
- Nick Rausch;
- Shannon Moriarty;
- Logan Dorman;
- Mario Dominguez; Folsom Elementary School
- Brooklyn Morning;
- Uriel Dix; Kimbell Elementary School
- Emily Scimeca;
- Bianca Garcia;
- Shaylee Davis;
- Noe Alas;
- Roshni Patel; Tampa Bay Technical High School
- Ahmina Chamalian;
- Julia Wallace; Terrace Community Middle School
- Eslam Mohamed; Universal Academy of Florida
- Trey Hurt; USF Patel Partnership School
- Rocio Beltran; Village of Excellence Academy
- Meghana Chapalamadugu; Williams IB Middle School
- Nour Hamed;
Brooks told the students that he never dreamed of going into athletics. His motivation for playing football was to get a scholarship so that he could go to college. He encouraged students to continue putting their studies first.
“Your education is your No. 1 option,” he said.