Roxanne Martinez met Daphne Brookins long before either of them were on the school board, back when they were two women who cared about youth in the community trying to find ways to make it better.

Brookins, the Fort Worth Independent School District 4 Trustee, died from Covid-19. She joined the board in 2019 to fill a vacant seat and was elected to a full term in 2021, according to a release from the school district. Brookins had two sons.

When Martinez remembers her friend now, she’s hit with “a flood of memories” for her passion and enthusiasm for the children of Fort Worth. 

That is the legacy Brookins leaves, Martinez said, someone who was dedicated to her community.

“That’s how she would want to be remembered,” Martinez told the Fort Worth Report. “I just remember us talking about our legacies and what we want to leave behind, and I can honestly say that she’s fulfilled hers.”

According to a written statement from the district, Brookins accomplished much in the community.

Brookins’ accomplishments

  • ​​AmeriCorps Member, 1st Class (1994-1996)
  • Young Women’s Leadership Academy- Vice Chairman (2013-17)
  • Site Based Board Member- Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2019-present)
  • Appointed to OneStar National Service by Governor Perry (2013-2017)
  • Appointed to OneStar National Service by Governor Abbott (2017-present)
  • New Directions Initiative Board Member (2012-2013)
  • Greatest Woman in Texas Award by Fort Worth Business press (2009)
  • Nominee for the Advocate for Older People in Tarrant County of the Year by the Area Agency on Aging (2009)
  • Mayor Mike Moncrief Believing in Youth Award (2009)
  • President/ CEO of Tarrant County Youth Summit (2007-present)
  • President of the Texas Wesleyan University Alumni Board of Directors (2006-2008)                                                                                                
  • Vice-Chair of the Fort Worth Sister Cities Young Professional Advisory Council (2008-2010)                                 
  • Appointed to the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (2007- 2013)                                                                   
  • Appointed Coordinator for the Forest Hill Youth Advisory Commission (2007-2009)                                                                    
  • Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Forest Hill (2005-2007)
  • City Councilman for the City of Forest Hill (2002-2004)                                                                                                             
  • Awarded the “40 Under 40” award by the Fort Worth Business Press as an up-and-coming Rising Star in the Metroplex area 2006                                                                                                                              
  • “Young Alumni of the Year” by Texas Wesleyan 2006                                                            
  • Featured in Womensbiz magazine in 2005 as a “Woman to Watch”

According to Fort Worth ISD press release.

“Words cannot express our devastation and sadness at this news,” Board President Tobi Jackson said in a written statement from the district. “Ms. Brookins was a champion for kids and a much-valued colleague who embraced her board work with collegiality and dedication. More than that, she was a dear friend whose smile illuminated any room she was in. Our thoughts are with her family right now, especially her sons.”

In a press release, Superintendent Kent Scribner also said the district is “deeply saddened” by her death.

“She was always focused on students and never allowed any opportunity to further their needs to be lost,” he said. “She always wanted to ensure that families received resources that allowed stability and a good education for their children.”

Brookins’ leadership roles

According to Fort Worth ISD, Brookins’ past and present leadership roles include:

  • YMCA Metropolitan Board
  • Director’s Circle with Girls Inc., Tarrant County
  • Challenge Inc. Board Member
  • Advisory Board Member for Expanding Your Horizon
  • Tarrant County CHIP Coalition co-chairperson for the Marketing Task Force
  • Ladder Alliance Board Member.

When Martinez met Brookins, they served on community service committees and board together, she said. Community Action Partners was one they served on together and Brookins was passionate about the Rising Stars Youth Leadership Academy.

They also completed a Leadership ISD fellowship together, and Martinez saw the passion for service Brookins had.

“I just want people to remember the passion that she had for serving youth in particular, but she has a long history of serving  families in Tarrant County,” Martinez said.

Kristen Barton is an enterprise reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Kristen Barton

Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. She has previous experience in education reporting for her hometown paper, the Longview News-Journal and her college paper, The Daily...

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