Two Seventh-Graders Were Interviewed About Obama in 2009: Here's What They Have to Say About His Presidency 8 Years Later

President Barack Obama's historic election ushered in a new wave of hope for African American children across the country, particularly for those growing up in Chicago, where the young senator first made his mark in politics and resided for over two decades.


"Let's begin, let's begin," Windy City seventh-graders chanted in unison when the Associated Press visited their classroom on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

"It's like another Martin Luther King and I didn't get to witness that and now I get to witness this," Aaliyah Mogan said about President Obama's first inauguration. 

It makes me feel like I can do whatever I want to and become whatever I want to. That's why I'm so happy today," Patrick Owens, another student, told AP. 

Eight years later, the two, now in college, were asked to reflect on President Obama's legacy. Both were impressed by the current president's progress during his two terms in office. 

"He is a great president in office and he doesn't really pay attention to those naysayers," Morgan said. 

"He's done more in office than I actually thought he would do," Owens remarked. 

After winning the presidency in 2008, Obama held a victory rally in Chicago, the city where he will deliver his farewell speech on January 10.

“I'm just beginning to write my remarks,” President Obama said Monday. “But I'm thinking about them as a chance to say thank-you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you've changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here.” 

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