The Obamas Want Chicago Youth Working So They’re Donating $2 Million to Make It Happen

Oct. 30, 2015 "The President and First Lady react to a child in a pope costume and mini popemobile as they welcomed children during a Halloween event on the South Lawn of the White House." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Since the Obamas have returned to public life, some have taken issue with the amount of money they’ve been charging for speaking engagements. Well, it looks like the former First Family is giving back just as much as they are taking.

On Wednesday, the Obamas announced a new financial commitment to the South Side of Chicago, which will also serve as the home to the former President’s presidential library.

“Michelle and I will personally donate $2 million to our summer jobs programs here in the community so that right away people can get to work and we can start providing opportunity for them,” said the former President.

The presidential library will not be open for the next four years, but Obama knows the community can’t wait that long for jobs.

“We can’t afford to wait four years to start working together, and so what Michelle and I want to do is start now.”

This new initiative was announced in Chicago at an event where a roundtable discussion was had about the Obama Presidential Center. It will be built in Chicago’s Jackson Park and it’s estimated to create 200-300 jobs. The construction is said to generate 1, 400 – 1, 500 jobs and 2, 000 more jobs during the economic development of the area.

During the event, Obama showed off conceptual designs for the center, which will be a presidential library and headquarters for the Obama foundation.

“What we wanted was something that was alive and that was a hub for activity for the community and for the city and for the country,” said Obama.

The former President went on to say the center will allow for him to invite famous friends. For example, “a studio where I can invite Spike Lee or Stephen Spielberg to come and do workshops on how to make films around the stories that young activists are working on” and “a music recording studio where I can invite Chance (the Rapper) or Bruce Springsteen, depending on your taste, to come here and talk about how you can record music that has social commentary and meaning.”

For the fashion lovers, he didn’t forget about you.

“Let’s face it, y’all wanna see Michelle’s dresses and some of the campaign posters and maybe there will be some artifacts from the White House and the presidency. Those are all interesting things to pull people in and give them a sense of what this has been all about,”

said Obama.

The Obama Presidential Center will surely be a top tourist attraction in Chicago when it opens a few years from now.

Photo Credit: The White House