Former President Barack Obama surprises Chicago high school students: 'I'm so star-struck'
CHICAGO - There's perhaps only one Chicagoan with more star power than Michael Jordan, and Tuesday evening, he decided to make a spontaneous visit to a music studio in a Bronzeville Church to see how a project he started about 15 years ago was turning out.
"Hey what's happening?" said former President Barack Obama, making a surprise entrance to Haven Studios, 4622 S. King Drive. "Music is being made here!"
The Obama Foundation helps fund Guitars over Guns, a music mentoring project.
"We decided: let's see if we can do some positive things instead of just focusing on the negative," said Obama. "This outstanding program was one of the recipients."
Obama listened to some of the students' musical creations and then led an intimate Q and A about how the program has impacted their lives.
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"[It] gave me the tools to express myself as much as I could and actually taught me more things than I knew, like engineering," said one participant. "It changed my life."
"I'm so star-struck right now!" said one musician, when asked by Obama to share his experience.
"I really enjoyed the words he had to say," said Steven Smith, who goes by the stage name EVN STEVN. "It was nice to know he actually knew about the program."
Guitars over Guns just received another summer grant for $15,000 from the Obama Foundation. Since 2008, it has helped over 8000 kids in Miami, L.A., and Chicago.