Obama Mentee Giving Back

Published by Pamela Gentry on Friday, January 22, 2010 at 12:39 am.

Michael Strautmanis_2By Pamela Gentry, Senior Political Analyst

Jan. 21, 2010 – The president and first lady announced the expansion of the White House’s mentoring program. The program will be expanded to include 20 young men to the 20 young ladies selected for the program initiated in November 2009 under the leadership of Mrs. Obama.

The East Room announcement Thursday introduced the mentors and their mentee and expanded the year long program to include young men. The forty young folks from across the United States will have a White House staffer as their mentor, attend one workshop a month, and participate in field trips in the nation’s capital.
First lady Michelle Obama told the children, “People are doing this because they want to be a part of your lives, they want to hear about your hopes and dreams and your passions and your struggles.  They are here because they believe in your potential and they want to share some of the lessons that they’ve learned.”

That’s exactly what Michael Strautmanis, chief of staff for senior advisor Valerie Jarrett told me about his high mentors: the Obamas.  “They have always been about giving back and I’ve personally benefited from it.”

 Strautmanis has been tapped to coordinate the program and its partnerships with other departments in the White House. “I wouldn’t be here today if they hadn’t been there for me,” he told me.  I first met Strautmanis when he came to Washington with Sen. Obama and served as the freshman senator’s chief of staff. A native of Chicago and an attorney Strautmanis started his legal career as at Sidley, Austin law firm in Chicago where he met the Obamas.

The president acknowledged the challenges facing young people today during his remarks – and reflected on his youth.  “Fewer young people are growing up in homes with two parents.  I’m one of those people who didn’t grow up with two parents in a household.  Parents are working longer hours and they’ve got less time to spend with their kids.  And many young people don’t have the advantage of living in those tight-knit neighborhoods that many of us who are older grew up in, where people looked out for each other, and for each other’s children,” he said. 

The White House Men/Boys Mentoring Program has also managed to snag the support of corporate sponsors, national non-profits and the U.S. Government is also stepping up and launching the serve.gov/mentor Website for federal employees to volunteer their time.

“It’s tough being a young person out there these days, “Statautmanis said.  “We’ll bring them [mentee] to the White House and expose them to different perspectives, new careers, how the federal government works and introduce them to cultural opportunities in D.C.

All of this for what the first lady summed up as a promise.  “The only thing that we ask in return, and we said this to the girls, is that when this is all over, that you give back, that you do the same for someone else.  That’s the only thing we ask of you.  Because the beauty of being a mentor is that anyone can do it at any age,” she told the mentees.

The message was clear from the first couple, anything is possible. Mrs. Obama told the mentee,  “Each of us has the ability to move beyond the circumstances that we were born into.  That’s really the story of both me and the president, that through hard work and perseverance, that you can actually choose the life that you want to live — it’s your choice.”

  • Digg It
  • Delicious


Pamela said on January 22nd, 2010

Thank you, First Lady Michelle and President Obama for reaching out and giving our children support, and, an opportunity to make a choose in the life they want to live!

Bama said on January 23rd, 2010

Hey Pamela did not the President cancel vouchers for black parents who wanted to send their kids to a better school, to get a betterr education. Obama does not have to worry about his kids schooling. And you are thanking them.

HOWRU said on January 24th, 2010

BET, Please report REAL NEWS!!! All I see is a one sided view on the current administration. I understand that the Mr. Obama is black and this is Black Entertainment Television, but as a news reporter your reporting should be unbiased. All I see is the good things that this Admin is doing. Theres nothing wrong with good news, but you hide the truth to the millions of viewers who depend on this network for their current events. Not to many people understand the importance of why Obama’s numbers are dropping in ratings. Im reading many of these post and it seems that everyone thinks its because he is BLACK! Thats interesting! Considering the number of votes that got Obama elected were mostly whites. Yes the majority of blacks voted for Obama, but still the majority of blacks only represent 13-15% of america. Of those 13-15% how many blacks actually voted? But reading the news on BET… You have me convinced that Obama is the greatest thing since slice bread and the only reason his numbers are down is because people are hating that he is Black. It has nothing to do with the fact that the economy is getting worse, healthcare hasnt been passed even though his party owns the senate, the house, and the presidency. Not to mention that he hasnt passed any legislation. Well he did win a noble peace award not because he earned it but as a political statement against the prior administration. Im pretty sure this will get removed since you have removed many of my post!!! Even though I am saying nothing wrong and you have all these clowns on here writing racial comments!!! I lose more and more respect for you each day! Take care

ugg boots wholesale said on January 24th, 2010

Ugg Australian boots have natural insulating properties and the sheepskin and wool make them very warm, while the fibers of the wool allow the shoes to breathe. This keeps the feet at a normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees and also makes for a boot that does not require socks, if that’s your kind of style.ble in an expansive limit of styles, ensign and designs, it may amaze you and make you miracle why they are called Uggs.

Joy B. said on January 25th, 2010

I think they are doing a great thing. I also feel like no matter what he does its not going to be good enough for a lot of people. He was left the biggest mess to clean up and the world wants it fixed over night. The problem is the mess was not made over night. I’m giving the president all of my prayers and support. This is a cuel world we live in and people only care about self. I think he is doing a great job and I appreciate him looking out for our children.

Valery Lyman said on January 25th, 2010

Pamela, I appreciate your blog and I think a lot of people still support President Obama but don’t get affirmation in the public discourse. I’ve made a beautiful short film about the day we elected him because I think we all could use a shot of inspiration here.


I think your readers will like it, and I think this film is a great match for BET. Could you help me figure out who to get in touch with at BET programming? Enjoy and thank you.

judy said on January 27th, 2010

I am wondering if there is an easy way to find my soul mate or sexy partner! I find that it’s not difficult to find my Mr.right when I saw http://millionaireloving.com There are many sexy beauties and wealthy singles on that dating site, U may have a try!

unlilkGails said on March 14th, 2010

Costume Watches Wholesale Audemars Piguet From Usa Discount Ladies

chronoswiss watches
citizen watch collection
cole watches
concord diamond watch
costume watches

Pleptilia said on March 26th, 2010

Breitling, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Omega, Raymond Weil and Gucci …

designer gold watches
diesel watch strap
discounted gucci watches
ebel wrist watches
esq quartz watch

hguf said on March 29th, 2010

Blancpain watches? Auctions are great way to pick up a Cheap Diesel Breguet watches – often at a fraction of retail prices Breitling watches. One of the best ways to pick a Breitling watches at the right price is to check the retail prices against whats offered at the auction, mark the auction end date, and keep an eye on the prices on the indicated last date of the auction, and bid within your range.
We spend our time finding the ideal Diesel Bvlgari watches auctions so that you dont have to!Cartier watches.thank very much!U-Boat watches
Vacheron Constantin watches
Zenith watches

wigmettelpeld said on March 29th, 2010
MBT shoes said on April 1st, 2010

Hello, everyone, I noticed many styles and colorful MBT shoes gradually appearing in the street. Then I search it on Google, I found MBT shoe is very useful for our health. MBT shoes can shape your body and active your muscles, also can help you to lose weight. So how to benefit them? In my opinion, buying cheap MBT shoes and discount MBT shoes is the best choice to enjoy MBTs. Almost everyone choose buying MBT discount online with free shipping, that is worthy, strongly recommended. All in all, in MBT sale store, buying MBT discount shoes is perfect way to enjoy benefits and make you and all your friends around you healthier. Action now.

Vicackaliossy said on April 2nd, 2010

Fine Watches on Sale for Ladies and Men at Discount Prices

issey miyake watches
iwc schaffhausen watch
jacobs replica watch
jojo watches
kenneth watches

wigmettelpeld said on April 3rd, 2010

Watches by Seiko, Omega, Movado, and more brand names.

fossil watch brands
frogman watches
geneva fashion watches
geneve watches
gents diesel watches

wolfdog1985 said on April 14th, 2010

The book covers louis vuitton bags 2009 a period louis vuitton bags cheap when it louis vuitton bags for cheap was family-run louis vuitton bags for less and long before it became louis vuitton bags for sale part of LVMH. We are louis vuitton bags replica diverse, tolerant louis vuitton bags wholesale and all the things a modern louis vuitton belt company should be

ZLuRCg said on April 14th, 2010


jason said on May 24th, 2010
online stock trading attirtypeeple said on May 26th, 2010

kycarkmr, online stock trading, rwfiisgg

coach handbags said on May 27th, 2010

How can you find the perfect handbags you’re looking for? I will immediately help you to achieve your dreams.It’s a fashionable coach handbags,a Perfectly coach handbags.Exclusive design by rolling motion from coach Sale make wonderful success worldwide, for this results base on the straightener attitude, has greatly improved persons’fashion taste. In fact, this coach wallets discount you can find our web site.coach 14582 are not only fashionable, they are very beautiful and fashion. discount coach 14262 are along with the most in demand products of coach.What more,other coach 14263 clearance, such as coach 14510 and coach 14523,coach 14147 are making a huge impact on global users as well. coach 14305,coach 14337,coach,just the perfect handbags for all of you

attirtypeeple said on May 30th, 2010
attirtypeeple said on June 2nd, 2010

mjdvqghx, robert shumake, fizgcups

mbt mbt said on June 8th, 2010

Great to hear there is a great online mbt shoes store .i will buy some pairs now .one mbt shoes for myself.one mbt shoes for my daughter. One mbt shoes for my husband.total three mbt shoes
MBT barabara shoes
MBT ema shoes
MBT Salama sandals .

ROLEX WATCHES said on June 9th, 2010

People usually say :”Seeing is believing.” GHD Each attempt has a corresponding gain, in part or

obvious, or vague. At least we have the kind of satisfaction After I bought this watch ,in a sense,it means a great deal to me.

thank you!replica watches it is very useful tools to protect our time.If you never pay attention to yourself

,please grasp this chance.a few days ago,I bought .IT’s very good to use.So i want to write an article about watches to share with everyone on So as

to more and more people to konw it.

Rolex watches
omega watches
replica watchess


rolex watches
swiss watches
discont watches