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.
You saw yesterday’s @BarackObama surprise, but what did our interns think?
Hear the Obama Youth Job Corps interns reflect on a Tuesday they’ll never forget. pic.twitter.com/aXguqB8rfN
— The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) July 17, 2019
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.
I have a good feeling about these Chicago @UrbanAlliance interns. Thanks for letting me spend yesterday afternoon with you—you’re going to go on to do incredible things and make many people proud. In fact, you already have. pic.twitter.com/ZjzFQmBQqm
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 17, 2019
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.