By Ryan Velez
Following his post-presidency vacation, Barack Obama is clearly ready to go back into the public eye and get back to work. This includes his first formal post-presidential speech at the University of Chicago, as well as supposedly earning six-figure fees for speaking services. While some may have questions as to whether or not Obama should be getting this money, Celebrity Net Worth reports that the Obamas are already starting to give back, starting with Chicago, a city near and dear to their hearts.
Last Wednesday, Obama announced from the Chicago’s South Shore Cultural Center that he and his wife Michelle would donate $2 million to summer jobs programs. “One of the things that we’ll be starting this year is Michelle and I are personally going to donate $2 million to our summer jobs programs here in the community … [It’s] so that right away young people can get to work and we can start providing opportunities to all of them.”
Obama continued, “We’ll be working with the city, we’ll be working with the county, we’ll be working with businesses because part of what we want to do is reach young people who might be at risk if they don’t have something to do during the summer … But part of what we also want to do is to reach older youth who may be prepared for apprenticeships because one of the things that this project is going to do is generate jobs.”
Part of Obama’s plans for Chicago includes building a 200,000 square-foot campus on the South Side of Chicago, where the Obama Presidential Center will be located. Obama explained that the goals for the center will be to “train the next generation of leadership, the Michelle Robinson’s of today and Barack Obama of today.” Located near Chicago’s Woodlawn Neighborhood, the center is planning on rejuvenating the Jackson Park neighborhood by creating jobs and bringing visitors to the area. The Obama Foundation says that “More than a building or museum, the Obama Presidential Center will be a living, working center for engagement — an ongoing project for the community and the world to shape what it means to be an active citizen in the 21st century.”
The summer jobs program is planned to get started immediately. The Obama Foundation estimates that the center will cost roughly $500 million, and will take 4 years to finish.