First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday lauded a Chicago career training program run by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's wife, Amy Rule, that gives students real-world job experience.
"This is a very special program," Obama said of Urban Alliance Chicago, which provides under-served high school seniors with paid internships, formal training and mentors. "I want all the business leaders and community leaders around the country to understand this is part of the answer. Programs like these are the answer, in so many ways, to stemming the tide of violence."
The first lady heard from students who landed internships through the program and gave them advice about staying true to themselves as they enter college and finding a support system.
"You have so much more to contribute than you think," she said.
Urban Alliance came to Chicago in fall 2012, and offered its 1-year program to 71 students from six Chicago Public High Schools, boasting a 100 percent graduation rate with 95 percent of students heading to college this fall.
The program expects to serve 150 students from 13 CPS schools this fall.
The meeting followed some Wednesday night United Center concert fun for the first lady. She was spotted at her good friend Beyonce's "Mrs. Carter Show" with her daughters Sasha and Malia.
Obama was in Chicago in April to speak to students at Harper High School in Englewood about gun violence. She also met with the family of Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed in a park shooting in January.
Back in February she celebrated her Let's Move campaign at McCormick Place with a program promoting education, values and finding creative outlets for teens in Englewood and thousands across the city.