The Drills and Skills mission is to empower youth to become successful citizens by providing a safe nurturing environment where they will develop their academic, social and leadership skills.
History of Drills and Skills
The Drills and Skills concept was first envisioned in 1991by James Hampton, the Recreational Specialist for the Rainier Community Centers Late Night Program under the leadership of Reco Bembry. While working predominantly with Middle and High School aged youth in the South District of Seattle, Mr. Hampton noticed a large number of students who wanted to get involved in positive activities but who didn’t connect with the programs the community currently offered them. If these youth were given the option to either participate in an after school enrichment program or just hang out on the corner the students would almost always choose the corner- even though they knew it was not a safe or smart thing to do.
James felt that if he could connect these students’ recreational interests while at the same time engaging them in structured, curriculum-based activities, they could gain successful life skills. Thus the model for Drills and Skills was created, connecting the dots between recreation and education as a model for success with at-risk youth.
The program ran for 7 years as an education enrichment program at Rainier Community Center under the tutelage of James Hampton. Mr. Hampton left the Parks Department in 1998, taking a position as a director of an AmeriCorps program. The program faltered in his absence, but after a 4 year absents away from the Parks Department, Recreational Specialist Folasa Titialii approached James, asking him to restart the program at Rainier Beach Community, he agreed. Based on the success of the program there, Carol Gregory brought it to Chinook Middle School as a pilot program for the Highline School District
The pilot program ran for five years at Chinook Middle School. The Aaron Brooks Drills and Skills develop a comprehensive youth strategy for underserved youth where a large number of the population was East African.
Meet the Team
Academic, Social and Leadership Skills
Health and Fitness Coach
Social Emotional Coach