Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Obama to Talk with Chicago Teens about Challenges They Face

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Obama to Talk with Chicago Teens about Challenges They Face

Article excerpt

CHICAGO -- In addition to a speech Friday at a South Side high school, President Barack Obama is expected to meet privately with 20 young black men there and discuss the challenges of growing up in a rough neighborhood.

White House officials asked principal Antonio Ross of Hyde Park Academy High School to suggest students with whom the president could meet. Mr. Ross said he recommended teens in a mentoring and behavioral skills program called Becoming a Man. "These students are very honest, very open, very opinionated and passionate," the principal said, adding that Mr. Obama will "get a real dose of what it feels like, at least from their perspective, of what it feels like growing up in the city of Chicago right now as a teenager."

Mr. Obama, coming to Chicago as part of a three-state tour following his State of the Union speech, will address as many as 700 people in the Hyde Park Academy gymnasium, with students, mostly seniors, taking up about 300 of those spots, Mr. Ross said. The rest will include parents, community members and public officials, he said. The event is not open to the public. "We have a lot of students who are not doing well and may need the president's remarks for motivation," the principal said.

Mr. Obama will discuss proposals for "strengthening the economy for the middle class and those striving to get there," White House officials said. He is also expected to touch upon the subject of gun violence in the wake of the slaying of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year- old honor student, at a park a mile from the Obamas' residence in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood. …

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