Barack and Michelle Obama return to Chicago to vote, surprise students

It was a surprise of a lifetime for dozens of Chicago kids on Monday, as the Obamas were back in town.

The former president and first lady met with students on the South and West sides, giving us a glimpse into what we can expect when the Obama Presidential Center is complete.

It was a star-studded double feature, as former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama purposely crashed two city events with the goal of inspiring future generations.

With his signature swagger, President Obama surprised over 60 Chicago high school students on the West Side.

"We don't have a lot of spaces where young people can come together, share their experiences, talk about what's going on and then say, hey, what could we do about this if we work together," Obama said.


Obama says part of his new presidential center will provide a space for those discussions.

Today's panel event was geared toward helping students find their purpose. Morgan Park graduate and Chicago Bull star Ayo Dosunmu is a shining example.

"What I be here to talk about it just facing adversity and finding those tough moments in your life and those tough times and fighting through it," Dosunmu said.

The event was building upon the Obama Foundation's My Brother's Keeper Alliance initiative to create safe spaces for young men of color to explore their interests and get support.

"I think you guys are going to do great things and our job is just to figure out how we can help you," Obama said.

On the South Side, Michelle Obama kicked off the Obama Foundation’s Future Series, which brings notable speakers to students.

"I'm not Michelle Obama, the former first lady. I'm Michelle Obama and I grew up on the South Side of Chicago and I'm proud of that," Michelle Obama said.

The Obama Presidential Center is expected to open in 2025. There will certainly be more stories like this one leading up to the grand opening.