U.S. President Highlights Local Disasters

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NEW ORLEANS (July 25, 2012) – President Barack H. Obama opened the National Urban League Convention at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

With more than 500 youth and young professionals in attendance, President Obama encouraged them to work hard, prioritize study time and give back to the community: ‘Our best days are ahead. But each of you plays a role. We have the best universities in the world, the best research centers and the best entrepreneurial spirit.’ The President also challenged the adults to participate in mentoring opportunities and spend more quality time with youth.

“It’s up to us, as parents and as neighbors and as teachers and as mentors, to make sure our young people don’t have that void inside them.

It’s up to us to spend more time with them, to pay more attention to them, to show them more love so that they learn to love themselves, so that they learn to love one another, so that they grow up knowing what it is to walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes and to view the world through somebody else’s eyes. It’s up to us to provide the path toward a life worth living; toward a future that holds greater possibility than taking offense because somebody stepped on your sneakers.

That’s the difference that we can make in our children’s lives and in the lives of our communities. That’s the legacy we must leave for the next generation.

Now, this will not be easy. Even though it’s called the Big Easy, this proud city and those who call it home, they know something about hardship. They’ve been battered again and again in this new century: One of the worst natural disasters in our history, the worst environmental disaster in our history, the worst economic crisis most of us have ever known. So sometimes being from the Big Easy means knowing hardship and heartbreak.

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