Obama touts community impact of new presidential center

- Dozens of phone cameras recorded former first lady Michelle Obama's first public appearance in Chicago since leaving the White House.

She returned to the South Shore Cultural Center where the Obamas were married 25 years ago.  Mrs. Obama did not speak, but the former president offered new details of their vision for their presidential center.

“If we do this well, not only will this end up being a world-recognized institution, where people not just from around Chicago, not just around the country, but from around the world come to teach and learn from each other. But it's also going to be a transformational project for this community,” Barack Obama said Wednesday.

Showing new images of the center planned for 59th and Stony Island, the former leader of the free world dealt with details usually left to aldermen. A portion of one side street may be closed. There will be basketball hoops, a playlot and space for families to barbeque and picnic.

“It's awesome to see him here, see him back in his roots where he came from and to see his plans of inclusion for all the community,” Alex Sims said.

The Obamas are donating $2 million dollars to summer jobs programs that train young people for permanent employment.

13:03:31 "We'll be working...During the summers:  "

Barack Obama said he will launch the first of his center's programs this year, aimed primarily at young people and motivating them to enter public service. A spokesman said details will be announced soon.
 

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