Obama announces $2M donation to Chicago summer jobs programs

Former President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that he and his wife, Michelle, are donating $2 million to summer jobs programs in Chicago.

“One of the things that we’ll be starting this year is Michelle and I are personally going to donate $2 million to our summer jobs programs here in the community,” he said at the South Shore Cultural Center. “[It’s] so that right away young people can get to work and we can start providing opportunities to all of them.”

The former president used the event to unveil plans for a 200,000-square-foot campus on Chicago’s South Side that will house the Obama Presidential Center. Obama said the center will be used to “train the next generation of leadership, the Michelle Robinsons of today and the Barack Obamas of today.”


The center will sit on a lagoon that runs into Lake Michigan in the Jackson Park neighborhood and will feature three buildings — a museum, a forum and a library — alongside outdoor gathering spaces.

The Obama Foundation said the center will be located near Chicago’s historically African-American Woodlawn neighborhood and will revitalize the Jackson Park neighborhood by creating new jobs on the South Side and attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors.

“More than a building or museum, the Obama Presidential Center will be a living, working center for engagement — an ongoing project for the community and world to shape what it means to be an active citizen in the 21st century,” the foundation said. 

Obama is expected to use the center as he focuses on issues such as criminal justice reform and education for underprivileged children now that he has left office.

Foundation officials have said that the project is expected to cost $500 million and should be completed in 2021.

Tags Barack Obama Chicago children Democrats Jobs Politics

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