It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day, It’s a New Staff Member!

Meet Dawn Brooks, DO YOU Program Coordinator

Tell us about yourself…

I grew up in Warsaw, a small town in the Northern Neck, which is a peninsula Northeast of Richmond, VA. My family, friends, (and now my cat, Mila), have always been so important to me. I am the oldest of my siblings and can’t imagine life without them! Since I was about 12 years old, I’ve volunteered and worked at daycares. I spent a lot of time caring for children on weekends and during parent date nights, too! Some of my greatest memories are chilling on the couch with a toddler and preschooler watching Disney Princess movies.

I got my Bachelor’s in Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). For four years I cruised up and down Route 360 to attend class. I spent lots of time singing at the top of my lungs and listening to criminal psychology podcast. Oh, and talking my partner and mom’s ear off about my lessons of the day. Before the Action Alliance I was at The Haven Shelter and Services, Inc. as the Youth Resilience Coordinator, teaching sex-ed and co-facilitating resilience and art based after-school programs!

What excites you about being the Action Alliance’s DO YOU Program Coordinator?

Something that excites me about being the Action Alliance’s DO YOU Program Coordinator is being able to shift the hurt and harbored energy that I’ve had towards racial inequality, the criminalization of black and brown people, and the criminal justice system. I’m also looking forward to working with and learning from girls of color who are incarcerated to create and support a more healing, trauma-informed environment.

What’s one goal you have for your first year as the DO YOU Program Coordinator?

A goal I have for my first year is learning as much as I can about the juvenile justice system and the young people’s needs as they are surviving through diversion programs and like facilities. Also, continuing to soak up as much as I can from all the amazing preventionists I get to connect with!

If you were to be transported into a fictional world/universe, where would you go? 

If I were to be transported into a fictional world/universe, I would go to Disney, preferably Princess Tiana’s world in New Orleans. I have family in Louisiana, so the movie Princess and the Frog makes me feel close to my roots. Disney Princess movies have always been an escape for me as I get to sing a long and take in the beautiful, magical scenes. I went to the theatre three times to see Moana so I think I can make it work in whatever Disney World I’m dropped in. It’s also on my bucket list to be cast as a Disney Princess so my performances will no longer have to be in my shower or car.

What is the most incredible view you have ever seen? 

The most incredible view I’ve ever seen is watching the sunset and fireworks while sitting on my best friends’ dock at their cottage with our feet in the Rappahannock River. Feeling safe and loved <3 

Sun setting over Rappahannock River

Learn more about the DO YOU program here.

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