The Grio: Surprise! Barack Obama drops in and drops knowledge during youth program in Chicago
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Surprise! Barack Obama drops in and drops knowledge during youth program in Chicago
By Ny Magee
July 18, 2019
Former president Barack Obama dropped in on a group of Urban Alliance interns for a quick pep talk. (Urban Alliance/Twitter video)
A group of Chicago teens participating in a job corps program received a memorable surprise when former president Barack Obama paid them an unexpected visit on Tuesday.
Obama dropped in on a meeting of 13 Urban Alliance interns during their visit to the Obama Foundation. Video posted by the foundation shows the group’s shocked reaction when he entered the room.
Obama sat with the group and spoke about the importance of job-training programs and answered many questions as the teens shared their experiences. The students’ internships at the Urban Alliance is part of a partnership with the Obama Foundation called the Obama Youth Jobs Corps, Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“As you guys know, part of the goal of this program is to expose you to what’s possible, also to make sure you recognize that even as you succeed, the communities from which you come are going to need you to be active and engaged and focused,” Obama tells the students in the video. He went on to praise the teens for being “good role models.”
“Everybody here has already shown extraordinary talent and initiative. All of you all are focused in a way that I can’t say I necessarily was when I was your age. So you guys are already ahead of the game,” Obama says. “All of us, as citizens and generally, have an obligation to make sure that we’re tending to the city we live in.”
The Urban Alliance’s website notes that the interns will experience “workforce readiness training and early, meaningful work experience at businesses” throughout the city of Chicago.
According to its website, the Urban Alliance is a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization targeted at developing economically disadvantaged youth and connecting them to pathways to success. It has additional locations in Baltimore, Chicago, Northern Virginia and Detroit.