Former President Barack Obama on Sunday went back to Chicago to meet at-risk men and boys. He is set to make a public appearance today which will be marked as first since he left the White House.
Obama went to Chicago Create Real Economic Destiny to spend some time with youth there. It was also the same place from where he started out his political career in the impoverished South Side of Chicago as a community organizer at age 25. The organization helps to provide opportunities for at-risk young adults as well as job skills.
At CRED, Obama listened to the young men’s stories and shared some of the challenges that he faced growing up, said Spokesman Kevin Lewis.
He said, “Obama was optimistic about their potential to positively contribute to their communities and support their families because of the services provided in the program.”
Obama’s education secretary Arne Duncan also accompanied him to attended the meeting, who founded the CRED program.
“The president and Mrs. Obama look forward to working with similar organizations through the Obama Foundation and the My Brother’s Keeper initiative that are already committed to bringing much-needed expansion of opportunities in Chicago neighborhoods,” Lewis said.
It’s important to note that Obama will be attending his first public engagement at the University of Chicago today, where his presidential library is planned. He is expected to give a speech to young community leaders and organizers at the event.
Since he left White House, he has spent much of the three months on vacation. The former president has only returned from French Polynesia where he was said to be working on his memoir.
The 55-year-old ex-president and his wife Michelle Obama technically live in Washington, D.C. still, having decided to remain in the capital city until their younger daughter finishes high school.
They are expected to return to Chicago after that. Obama’s library is being built on Chicago’s South Side and is scheduled to open in 2020.