The students, who attend Hyde Park Academy High School, are part of an anti-youth violence program called “Becoming A Man” (B.A.M.) that teaches at-risk students about violence prevention, accountability, self-determination, positive anger expression and respect for women.
“This is very personal for him because he didn’t have a father,” Jarrett said of the president during a one-hour session at the White House with six African American journalists. “He was raised by a single mom so he knows the challenges.”
“I think he takes his role as a mentor very seriously and he leads by example,” said Jarrett, perhaps the president’s most trusted White House confidant. “He goes home for dinner every night; he is a present and involved father.”
And, Jarrett added: “The president might say that at some point in his childhood he may have been at risk too so hopefully they will identify with him.”
Jarrett said the president chose to deliver his speech at the Hyde Park Academy High School because the neighborhood is a mile from his home — a predominantly black community of poor residents, urban blight, and unemployed black men, but it’s also an area that has seen progress in recent years with new housing and banks.
President Obama Promotes New Plan For Black Neighborhoods, Mentor Young Black Men was originally published on blackamericaweb.com