Former President Barack Obama returned to the University of Chicago to discuss a key priority for his time after the White House—helping to inspire and prepare the next generation of civic leaders.
On Monday, the former president gathered on stage at UChicago’s Reva and David Logan Center with students from around Chicago for his first public event since ending his second term in January. In a wide-ranging conversation, Obama talked about his own introduction to public service as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side and asked students from schools including UChicago and Kenwood Academy about their own involvement in civic engagement and how to create new ways for their peers to participate. Obama was introduced by UChicago second-year student Richard Omoniyi-Shoyoola, and the student panel included UChicago third-year Max Freedman.
“I’m spending a lot of time thinking: What is the most important thing I can do for my next job?” Obama said. “And what I’m convinced of is that although there are all kinds of issues I care about and all kinds of issues I intend to work on, the single-most important thing I can do is to help, in any way I can, prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and take their own crack at changing the world.”