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Former President Barack Obama took time on Sunday to meet with at-risk young men and boys in Chicago ahead of his first major speech after leaving office, ABC News reports.

Obama delivered an uplifting message at the roundtable meeting with Create Real Economic Destiny, an organization that provides job skills training and employment opportunities based in Chicago’s south side where Obama started as a community organizer.

From ABC News:

Spokesman Kevin Lewis says Obama listened to the young men’s stories and shared some of the challenges that he faced growing up. Obama “was optimistic about their potential to positively contribute to their communities and support their families because of the services provided in the program,” Lewis said.

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Lewis added that the former president and first lady plan to work with similar organizations through the Obama Foundation and the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

Obama is schedule to speak Monday at the University of Chicago to young community leaders and organizers.

SOURCE:  ABC News, Associated Press

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