Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Obama meets with at-risk youth ahead of Chicago speech

Published:Monday | April 24, 2017 | 4:00 AM
Barack Obama

WASHINGTON (AP):

Former United States President Barack Obama met yesterday with at-risk young men and boys in his hometown of Chicago before his first major post-presidency speech.

The former president spent time at a round table with youth from the organisation Chicago Create Real Economic Destiny, located in the Roseland/Pullman neighbourhood in South Side Chicago, where Obama started as a community organiser at age 25.

The CRED programme provides job skills and employment opportunities for at-risk young adults.

Spokesman Kevin Lewis says Obama listened to the young men's stories and shared some of the challenges that he faced growing up. Obama "was optimistic about their potential to positively contribute to their communities and support their families because of the services provided in the programme," Lewis said.

The programme was founded by Obama's education secretary, Arne Duncan, who also attended the meeting.

EXPANSION OF OPPORTUNITIES

"The former president and Mrs Obama look forward to working with similar organisations through the Obama Foundation and the My Brother's Keeper initiative that are already committed to bringing much-needed expansion of opportunities in Chicago neighbourhoods," Lewis said.

Obama will speak today to young community leaders and organisers at the University of Chicago, where his presidential library is planned.

Obama's first public engagement comes as President Donald Trump nears his 100-day mark in office.