Skip to contents
Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

President Obama Visits Hyde Park Academy, University Of Chicago During Return To The City

The 44th president also visited Wednesday's Chicago Bulls game with high schoolers in his My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and Girls Opportunity Alliance groups.

Former President Barack Obama visits Hyde Park Academy High School Thursday as part of the Obama Foundation's Futures Series. The lecture series invites professionals into the school to speak about career opportunities.
The Obama Foundation
  • Credibility:

WOODLAWN — Former President Barack Obama made stops this week at two South Side educational institutions near where construction crews are building his presidential center in Jackson Park.

Obama spoke at a national seminar on disinformation Wednesday and to high schoolers about their future careers Thursday.

On Wednesday, the former president visited the University of Chicago’s Rubenstein Forum, giving the first-day keynote speech at a Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy conference.

The conference, organized by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and Atlantic magazine, wraps Friday with speakers Christopher Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

On Thursday, Obama visited Hyde Park Academy High School, speaking with about 450 students as part of the Obama Foundation’s Futures Series.

The program invites professionals who have reached the pinnacle of their fields to speak with Hyde Park Academy students about careers paths they can pursue after graduation.

Students submitted questions Wednesday, while school leadership selected “the most frequently asked questions” and had kids pose them to Obama during Thursday’s assembly in the auditorium, Principal Antonio Ross said.

“You have teenage students who were extremely young when President Obama was in office,” Ross said. “Our freshman students were just being born, or they were 1 year old. A lot of times with teenagers, if you’re not current, you’re not relevant to them.

“But there was an excitement — one, with him being there; and two, with how intentional and authentic he was in answering the questions of the students. The students really appreciated that.”

Speakers still to come to Hyde Park Academy as part of the Futures Series:

  • Jazz musician and 14-time Grammy winner Herbie Hancock, a Hyde Park Academy graduate.
  • ABC News President Kim Goodwin, who “is interested in inviting students to ABC to visit the studio” and learn what goes into a TV news production, Jarrett said.
  • Basketball coach and broadcaster Craig Robinson, the brother of former first lady Michelle Obama.

Hyde Park Academy, 6220 S. Stony Island Ave., is across the street from the Obama Presidential Center campus. The presidential center is expected to open in 2025.

Obama also hosted a career panel Wednesday for 28 high school students in his My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and Girls Opportunity Alliance groups. The panel featured Blackhawks, Bulls and United Center executives.

Following the panel, Obama attended Wednesday’s Chicago Bulls game against the Boston Celtics with the kids.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Thanks for subscribing to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods. Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: