Derek Rhodes

Helping young people go from where they are…to where they want to be.

On their own terms.

We make sure to add Derek to our school’s programming in some capacity each and every year. His message is so unique, incredibly inspiring, and always a hit with both our students and faculty!
— Kemi Nonez, Director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Private Pre-K-12 School

What Others Are Saying…


Author Profile of Jimmy for the City Author
National Network of Schools in Partnership

“It's more important than ever that we remind children…public service is not always what you see on television. There are plenty of ways to go about serving your community.”

Former Durham Academy and Duke Student Pens Children’s Book
Durham Magazine

“There are a number of kid-to-president stories, but not many that center around local government like city council. And that’s what inspires Derek.”

Rhodes returns for MLK Jr. Assembly and Book Signing
Durham Academy

“Rhodes shared his inspiration for Jimmy for the City with Middle School students and hosted a book signing event open to the larger Durham community. Rhodes read excerpts of Jimmy for the City and chatted with a crowd of budding civic leaders “

Book Derek for your next event!

Determined to use his experiences as a platform to lift up others, Derek is passionate about creating engaging experiences and presentations for audience members of all ages and backgrounds so that they leave empowered, challenged, and with a plan.