Obama to give first public speech post-White House on Monday

Former President Barack Obama waves as he boards a Marine helicopter AP

Barack Obama is to give his first major public speech since leaving the White House today, returning to the city where he began his political career.

The former President met with at-risk young men and boys in his hometown of Chicago on Sunday ahead his first major post-presidency speech.

Mr Obama spent time at a roundtable with youth from the organization Chicago Create Real Economic Destiny located in the Roseland/Pullman neighbourhood in South Side Chicago, where Obama started as a community organizer at the age of 25.

The CRED program provides job skills and employment opportunities for at-risk young adults.

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.

The program was founded by Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, who also attended the meeting.

“The president and Mrs Obama look forward to working with similar organizations through the Obama Foundation and the My Brother’s Keeper initiative that are already committed to bringing much needed expansion of opportunities in Chicago neighbourhoods,” Lewis said.

Mr Obama will speak to young community leaders and organizers at the University of Chicago on Monday, where his presidential library is planned.

Mr and Mrs Obama have stayed silent in the three months since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and have been seen holidaying in Palm Springs, California, with billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and in French Polynesia.

The highly-anticipated public engagement comes as President Trump nears his 100-day mark in office.

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