BALTIMORE, MD -- 3/2/16 -- Van and his parents, Shelly Jones-Brooks and Van Brooks, share a laugh as his parents leave for the day. Safe Alternatives is more than just an effort by Van. His family is a big part of the project.
Van Brooks runs the Safe Alternative Center, which he started to give middle school kids in West Baltimore a safe place to learn and play.
Brooks was a Division 1 prospect when he played football in high school, but was paralyzed in a freak accident after making a tackle in his junior year. He regained the use of his arms, even walking again with much assistance, and graduated on time from high school. He later earned a degree in marketing from Towson University. Though still confined to a wheelchair, he is self-sufficient and runs the center.…by André Chung #_AC13557