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President Obama Surprises Obama Youth Jobs Corps Students

Earlier this week, President Obama surprised a group of thirteen students participating in the Obama Youth Jobs Corps (Opens in a new tab) in Chicago, a program that provides workforce readiness training and internships for high school students around the city. The President came in just as students sat down for a roundtable conversation with Chief Engagement Officer Mike Strautmanis.

President Obama Surprises Obama Youth Jobs Corps Students in Chicago

“When President Obama walked into the room, it was just pure shock and joy,” said Adarah Hale, an Obama Youth Jobs Corps intern from South Shore.

The thirteen students were all recent graduates of local Chicago high schools and are on track to attend either college or trade school.

Aaron Parker, a young man with a deep skin tone, hugs President Obama.
A group of Black students with a range of light to deep skin tones pose for a photo with President Obama

Beginning in the tenth grade, Obama Youth Jobs Corps students receive workforce readiness training at partner organizations and businesses throughout Chicago, culminating in a ten-month paid internship during a student’s senior year. There are currently 105 sophomores in the program, as well as 56 juniors who are poised for an internship placement in the fall.

"Part of the goal of this program is to expose you to what's possible,” President Obama said to the Obama Youth Jobs Corps interns. “Part of our goal is also to make sure that you recognize that even as you succeed, that the communities from which you come are going to need you to be active and involved and engaged and focused. Because all of us, as citizens and generally, have an obligation to make sure that we’re tending to the city we live in, the country we live in.”

The Obama Foundation is proud to partner with Urban Alliance to provide workforce development training to these students. We’re looking forward to seeing what comes next for this incredible group of young people!