Riley Robert Hawkins, MSW

Hello My Name is...

Riley Robert Hawkins

About Me:

School Social Worker /Director of Street Cred/S.P.I.N. 501c3

Riley Robert Hawkins, MSW, received his undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Kentucky in 1980 and a Master’s in Social Work in 1995. Hawkins was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1979, thus gaining valuable firsthand experience in the challenges and opportunities of a professional sports career. Mr. Hawkins sensitivity to the need for proper personal and professional guidance among students was forged during his years on the playing field and as an intern and counselor in the athletic department. He has worked in various fields of human services with family and children including child protection, outpatient therapy and juvenile probation. Mr. Hawkins set up numerous programs while in his field Y.U.M.I.T. (Young Urban Men in Training) for the department of human services in Lexington Kentucky and B.A.S.E (basics athlete support and education) a support program for scholarship athletes.

Mr. Hawkins was recruited by the department of Education and Equity of the Jefferson County School district while living in Atlanta Ga, and was one of the second African American School Social Workers to work for the district Mr. Robert Hawkins developed a formal mission, supportive services in collaboration with county agencies and evidence-based program practices, establishing the SPIN Foundation in 2003 . Mr. Hawkins also established Positive Spin Magazine written for kids and by kids thus promoting positive issues for today’s youth, the theme of the magazine is “Where there’s a negative you can always find a positive “other programs that SPIN has developed is TROOP (total respect of other people) step team, DJ Positive Spin (radio and engineering), Positive Spin Drama Club, The annual MLK Jefferson march at city park and a food bank within the school in collaboration with other non-profit food banks. Mr. Hawkins was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in 2005 for the development of the SPIN Foundation at Jefferson High School, which supports low-income youth and their families in collaboration with other agencies to improve the outcomes for all students and their families. In 2008, SPIN was awarded funds by Jefferson County Human Services for its new pilot endeavor, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) program, specifically designed to expand educational and career opportunities to TANF-eligible students and break a cycle of generational poverty. During its first five months, incentive protocols, support services, monetary amounts, program activities and collaborations were tested and refined and underwent rigorous baseline evaluation by the Butler Institute for Families. Mr. Hawkins, JHS social worker and counselor, has 28 years of direct experience supporting the needs of low-income adolescents and their parents impacted by violence, mental health issues, substance abuse, poverty, gang involvement and failure at school as juvenile probation officer and social worker. He currently serves on the Diversity Committee as well. Mr. Hawkins also received the Wayne Carle Award for Outstanding Contributions To Diversity & Equity in 2011. Under Hawkins’s direction weaved school and community resources together to develop comprehensive and integrated approaches to address barriers to student achievement, enhance healthy life-style choices, improve social competence and resist gang involvement thus increasing at-risk youths’ chances to live productively and self sufficiently. The Edgewater community that SPIN has served has over 200 open TANF cases indicating a much higher risk population than surrounding areas (SOC Community Needs Assessment, 2005). JHS has an extremely high mobility rate and its dropout rate is 10.4% compared to 3.7% district and 4.4% statewide (Colorado Department of Education, 06-07).

SPIN is currently housed within JHS, in Edgewater, and has a remarkable track record in working successfully with the highest need community in Jeffco.

Contact Information:

Voicemail: 303-982-6082

Office Hours: 
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Office Location:


Class Schedule: 

Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Room S-4
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