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Derrick Robbins '17

Sociology

Foley Center Leader

Making a Difference

Derrick Robbins, of Monroeville, Ala., was drawn to Spring Hill College by the small class sizes and the stunning campus environment. But he says the most significant change he experienced as a student came when he outgrew the comfort and safety of the classroom setting. “Once that happened for me, I found my passion for being a leader in my community.”

Leadership would eventually define Derrick’s character as he continued through his college career. With his introduction to the Foley Center, Derrick says he was able to dedicate life outside of college to serving the Mobile community, quickly adding, “And I enjoyed every bit of it!” Over the course of his time on The Hill, he has led numerous group reflections and was a coordinator for after-school tutoring programs for Chastang and Pillians Middle Schools.

Outside of the Foley Center, Derrick stays busy. He served as a resident advisor for two years and is a proud founder and former chairman of the Legacy Chapter of Men of Color Council, Inc. (MOCC). In that capacity, he assisted in coordinating events such as the #SprillUnited demonstration – aimed at promoting unity in turbulent global times, several Campus Exposure Days for local high school students as well as the MOCC Talent Show. He committed 40 volunteer hours to filing taxes free of charge for low-income families with Good Will Easter Seals and has participated in multiple Habitat for Humanity builds. “The most valuable community service I’ve done thus far has been my commitment to the young men at the Strickland Youth Detention Center. Mentoring them has helped me see the need for positive male role models in the lives of young men all across Mobile. After graduation, I will continue to volunteer my time with the youth at Strickland because what they need most is consistency.”


“The most valuable community service I’ve done thus far has been my commitment to the young men at the Strickland Youth Detention Center. Mentoring them has helped me see the need for positive male role models in the lives of young men all across Mobile.”


These experiences have left a lasting impact on this young leader. As a sociology major with a concentration in criminology, Derrick is in the process of applying to become a police officer with the Mobile Police Department. “It is my vision to help MPD’s efforts in community policing and eventually pursue a career with the U.S. Marshals.” What led him to choose law enforcement? “At the height of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ versus ‘All Lives Matter’ versus ‘Blue Lives Matter’ movements is when I knew I wanted to join law enforcement. With President Puto as moderator, I put together a ‘Who’s Lives Matter’ dialogue on campus, which brought together many different opinions and beliefs. I determined that I know what it means to be a black man in America, but I don’t know what it means to be a police officer in America. I didn’t want to hold a negative opinion about that career field and then not have what it takes to be an officer.”

As Derrick prepares to walk down the Avenue of the Oaks, he says he wants to be remembered at Spring Hill for his service contributions and commitment as a student leader and as a role model. “The day I walk down the Avenue and complete my undergraduate college career, I will be thinking mostly about my new endeavors in law enforcement and community action.”

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