Obama Presidential Center: Chicago students reflect on Michelle Obama and Barack Obama presentation at library opening


CHICAGO (WLS) – High school students who introduced the Obamas to the Inauguration of the Obama Presidential Center Tuesdayreflected on their interactions with the former president and former first lady a day later.

Zell Wilson, a junior from Hyde Park Academy, who introduced former first lady Michelle Obama at the event, spoke of their joint exchange, which she said “a lot of people were talking about.”

“They were so normal and natural, just the way they spoke to us and communicated,” Wilson said. “They care so much and her people that we really need in our world.”

The former first lady commented on Wilson’s outfit during her introduction.

“Zell, you are amazing, my girl,” the former first lady said at the event. “You are my mini-me and you make me feel badly dressed.”

Wilson was one of two students chosen by their principals to present the Obamas at Tuesday’s event. Wilson, who plans to pursue a career as an architect and pursue competitive golf, said she felt encouraged by the former first lady.

“She inspired me to be the best version of myself using my voice and serving others,” Wilson said. “I’m going higher because of her.”

Prep. College International Rive-Sud. Sophomore Trenton Banks, who introduced former President Barack Obama, said “it was really fun” and “more than [he] expected.”

“I was a little nervous,” Banks said. “But Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama, they are very heartwarming, so it helped me not to be as nervous as usual.”

Banks, who plans to pursue a career in electrical engineering and have his own business, said he was ready to take the advice the former president gave him.

“He’s learned that if you want to change the world, there’s no better place to start than your own community,” Banks said. “And I’m just ready to do it.”

Both students said they were grateful for the honor of presenting the former president and former first lady at Tuesday’s event. They added that they would continue to do what they can to be part of the solutions to society’s problems and to learn from the actions of the Obamas.

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