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Students from Chicago who participated in a program organized by Barack Obama’s foundation, received a surprise visit from the former president himself on Saturday evening, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Nearly 175 participants, who gathered at the Gary Comer Youth Center in Greater Grand Crossing for the Obama Foundation’s Training Day program, got the opportunity to hear Obama speak about the importance of making an impact in their local communities, the news outlet writes.

When he entered the room, the youths—whose ages ranged from 18 through 24—greeted him with excitement. “The reason I wanted to come by is because this is the first of what we’re calling field days,” he said, according to the source. “When I left the White House, I thought to myself, ‘What’s the single thing I could do to be most impactful in the next phase of my life?’” He added that one of the ways to push his legacy forward is to dedicate himself to coaching the next generation of leaders.

Obama observed the participants’ presentations, which highlighted community problems and discussed ways to solve them. Prior to his visit, the students spent the entire day in workshops on civic engagement and pressing issues, such as affordable housing, health care, and education. A majority of the students were from Chicago’s South Side.

The workshop was the first program initiative under his organization. The Chicago Tribune reported that in late October, the foundation will host a summit for global leaders. Chance the Rapper, Gloria Estefan and other artists are slated to perform during the two-day event.

Obama’s Presidential Center is slated to officially open in 2018.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune


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