Checking in With: Jair Froome ’15

This year has upended life and required everyone to adjust expectations and plans. For our recent grads just starting out in college or careers, it posed an additional layer of uncertainty and we wanted to see how they were navigating COVID-19 at college and beyond. We hope Poly prepared them for life’s challenges. If you’re an alumnus and would like to share your story with our community, please contact the Alumni Office. We’d love to hear from you.

Meet our second of three profiles, Jair Froome ’15 who graduated with honors in 2019 from Duke University and currently works as a Financial Product Analyst at Bloomberg L.P.

Jair Froome ’15

At Duke, Froome “competed on the Duke Mock Trial team, served as an on-air host for Duke Student Broadcasting, saw Zion Williamson’s jaw-dropping ability in real time, worked at the Black cultural center, conducted research for two projects under the Duke Department of Political Science, joined a fraternity (shout out APhiA), served on the President’s Council on Black Affairs, slept in the blistering cold for multiple nights for Duke vs. UNC game tickets, placed first in three consecutive intra-fraternity state and regional debate tournaments, and much more.” But he says his proudest achievement was his senior thesis through the Duke Department of History: “Black Citizenship, White Terrorism, and Federal Ambivalence in the Reconstruction South: 1865-1900.” He said, “Though the process of collecting research and ultimately writing the nearly 80-page work was grueling, the rewards were sweet. Of course, I was particularly grateful and privileged to take advantage of the bevy of academic and extra curricular resources that the university offered. However, I am most grateful for the relationships that I built, and the individual moments that I experienced and continue to re-experience within my memory, almost always with a slight smile on my face. Interestingly enough, many of these memories feature my 2015 (Poly) and 2019 (Duke) classmate, and brother (fraternity) Kalif Jeremiah ‘15. All in all, my college experience was wonderful, and I truly empathize with students who have been unable to create and continue creating their own memories on campus given the pandemic.”

How well did Poly prepare you for your college experience?

“I am particularly grateful to Ms. Lori Redell P’10, ’11 and Ms. Johanna Rodriguez ’00 for offering acceptance to a loud-mouthed child with a history of mischief back in 2007,” Froome said. “I am grateful to Ms. Gail Karpf for being one of the first Poly teachers that I considered to be in my corner. I am grateful to Mr. B [Chris Benvegna] and Mr. Dan Doughty for entrusting me with MCing the musical festivals—even though I botched it one time (a very formative experience). I am grateful to both Ms. Sarah Bates and Ms. Susan Beiles for spurring my interest in history as an academic discipline. I am grateful to Mr. Sean Mullin for giving me confidence in my oratorical ability. I am grateful to Mr. Adams and Mr. Baloche for providing me with the direction to exercise that ability on the state and national levels through the Poly Prep Speech and Debate team. I am further grateful to Mr. Khan for his phenomenal guidance with regards to leadership development and personal authenticity, as well as Mr. Taylor for helping me begin to impart values of introspection, work ethic and discipline. I am grateful to the Poly football team for helping me to realize that sports were not, in fact, my calling. I am grateful to Ms. Sonya Baehr for encouraging me to audition for the Upper School musical. I am grateful to Ms. Marisa Gomez for significantly strengthening my academic writing ability. I am grateful to Mr. Bud Cox for always offering a smile, and a word of encouragement no matter the time or place. There are honestly far too many individuals for me to name each one individually, but it is safe to say that I would not be where I am today without the unique Poly experience that I had and everyone who contributed in one way or another. However, to answer the question directly, Poly absolutely prepared me for Duke. From the academic rigor, to time management, to knowing when to stop working and go party with the homies, I had everything I felt I needed to succeed.”

What does the future look like for you in 2021?

After graduating from Duke, Froome began working at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund—the nation’s leading civil rights law firm—where he worked as a Research and Operations Associate under the Thurgood Marshall Institute, the firm’s “Think Tank” department. “While at LDF,” Froome said, “I worked on a number of meaningful projects. One was the construction, launch, and maintenance of the National Police Funding Database, an online repository which tracks and displays data on federal grants awarded to over 150 local law enforcement agencies. It also provides information on police misconduct complaints filed by individuals, as well as settlement amounts. [Froome is the narrator of the video found on the landing page of the LDF site.] I also assisted with LDF’s voter education efforts, and, in the summer of 2020, I served as the operational lead in planning and executing a convening of policy experts, researchers, and community organizers regarding best approaches to maximize voter participation and combat voter suppression given the additional challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presented. Ultimately, my interests shifted toward the business realm. In September of 2020, I moved to Bloomberg L.P., where I currently work as a Financial Product Analyst. Honestly, working remotely has been quite enjoyable for me. I really like the fact that I can get more out of every day due to my lack of commute. Aside from work, I volunteer with Chionesu Bakari, an organization which provides mentorship for young Black men, of which I myself was a member 15 years ago.”

Jair Froome ’15