Derek Rhodes, ’11
Derek Rhodes has accomplished a lot since he graduated DA in 2011, to say the least.
As an undergrad at Duke, he was student vice president and head manager for the men’s basketball team. In the summer of 2014, he was selected for the prestigious White House Internship Program where he worked in scheduling for President Barack Obama.
In 2015, the Blue Devils won the NCAA championship with Rhodes as a valuable part of the Duke program; and when the team visited the White House, the president gave him a personal shoutout.
After graduating from Duke, Rhodes worked in New York City at Google before writing his book, “Jimmy for the City.” The book strived to promote and inspire youth activism in public service. He now works in Miami as Director of Mobile Innovation for the NBA team Miami Heat.
Rhodes returned to Durham Academy recently to speak to the Middle School and promote his book. He discussed many topics with the Middle School, including stories from the White House, his community engagement experience at DA, and service as it relates to the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Derek outlined a typical day for himself and for the president, which was an all-day, minute-by-minute affair. The president would travel, meet with elected officials, and read citizen letters, which Rhodes helped to select. Rhodes related his service experience to Dr. King, who believed that change could only be made when people came together. He left the impressionable middle schoolers with a final message:
For more information about his book “Jimmy for the City,” visit www.jimmyforthecity.org.