On Tuesday, former President Barack Obama announced that he and former first lady Michelle Obama, will personally donate $2 million dollars to youth in the city of Chicago.
This charitable donation will support summer job programs in the city. The announcement was made during a community event, where he also presented plans for the Obama Presidential Center, which is scheduled to be completed in four years.
However, Obama felt he didn’t need a building to begin taking action.“We don’t want to wait for a building,” he said. “One of the things that we will be starting this year is Michelle and I personally are going to donate $2 million to our summer jobs programs here in the community, so that right away, young people can get to work and we can start providing opportunities to all of them.”
For years, Chicago has garnered a reputation as city overridden by gun violence and crime. This is despite a decline in homicides over the years. However, as noted by the HuffPost, there was a spike in homicides in 2016. It seems Barack and Michelle are determined to help turn things around and feel that young people are the key.
“As somebody who has not been right here in Chicago over the last couple years, whenever I visit, I tell people, Chicago’s never looked more beautiful. It has, it has never sparkled more,” Obama said. “And yet, if you ask a lot of people outside of Chicago about Chicago, what’s the first thing they talk about? They talk about the violence.”
In addition to the donation, the 44th president also noted that once completed, the Obama Presidential Center will bring hundreds of permanent jobs to the city; while its construction will create up to 1,500 jobs. “One of the things that this project is going to do is generate jobs,” he said.