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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Remarks by the President in Meeting with White House Mentees

Diplomatic Room

12:50 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, as many of you know, one of the biggest focal points for both me and Michelle during the course of our presidency is how can we tap into the incredible talents of young people all across the country.  And for Michelle, she's been doing a lot of work with a program called Let Girls Learn that's not just domestic, but international.  She's had a consistent group of young women who she mentors herself.  

For us, what we've been trying to do is to really broaden the network of support that our young men have all across the country.  And that's been true for this program, My Brother's Keeper.  And I couldn't be prouder of the work that we've been able to do.  In hundreds of cities across the country we are seeing thousands of mentors step up.  We are seeing organizations like the NBA and major corporations who are providing opportunities for young people to see what their opportunities are.  We're linking them up with universities so that they know that they can aspire not just to go to college but to complete college.  And we're going to not just keep doing this until the end of my presidency, but this is something that Michelle and I are very interested in doing after the presidency is over.

One of my favorite things about this, though, is that I actually have a group of White House mentees, and these outstanding young men who you see, who are looking very sharp today, have been participating in the program.  Some of them have actually been with us for a couple of years now.  They started as juniors; they're now seniors.  We have sitting around the table young people who despite, in some cases, some pretty tough circumstances -- growing up with single parents, growing up in pretty tough neighborhoods -- we got young people who are going to be going to Stanford University.  We got people who are going to Yale.  We got folks who are going to Morehouse.  We've got young people who are going to be joining our armed forces.  We have folks who are going to be engineers and doctors and are pursuing just a wide range of interests. 

And I've gotten to know them over the last couple years, and I could not be prouder.  And it's a testimony to how much talent there is out there, as long as young people get a chance.  And it doesn’t take much.  It just requires us really exposing them to what's possible, and giving them some resources and some open doors.  And they'll run through them.  

And I just want to, in front of them and in front of the press, say how incredibly proud I am of all them and what they're going to accomplish.  And I want to thank members of my administration, because the way the White House mentorship program works, they don’t just meet with me -- more importantly, they're assigned mentors like Jeh Johnson, my Secretary of Homeland Security, or Broderick Johnson, who's one of my -- not just my Cabinet Secretary, but one of my chief advisors and closest friends.  And so we've -- and Secretary King of the Department of Education.  They are active in this process as well, and they're real busy, but I think they would agree that this has been one of the most satisfying things that they've done.  

So I'm proud of the young men, and I want to encourage -- and I'm going to keep on talking about this -- adults out there, particularly men out there, if you are interested in mentoring and signing up, get on the White House website and look up My Brother's Keeper, and we will get you signed up and get something rolling in your city or your community so you can be inspired by the incredible young people in your community, just like I am by these fine young men.

Thanks, everybody.

12:55 P.M. EDT