Derek is passionate about demonstrating, through a range of mediums, how young people can reinvent civic engagement on their own terms.
Speaker. Author. Mentor.
A deeply empathetic individual, Derek Rhodes is someone who understands just how powerful people are and how untapped their potential to change world might be. As a White House intern under President Obama, Derek learned how to unleash his inner power and how to use storytelling to encourage others to do the same.
Featured in Business Insider for his commitment to community and development work in his hometown of Durham, North Carolina, he is highly sought after as a motivational speaker, respected for his emphasis on the importance of civic engagement at the local level.
His recently published children’s book, Jimmy for the City, not only strives to teach children about local politics, but also amplifies Derek’s motivational messages: believe in your dreams, rise above often self-imposed obstacles, create opportunities for others, and most of all, communicate your feelings to the world.
Determined to use his experiences as a platform to lift up others, Derek has made access, equality, and opportunity pillars of both his professional and personal life.
He is a 2015 graduate of Duke University, where he majored in Public Policy.