Chicago (CNN) – Returning to her hometown Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama personally helped cap off a year-long education and employment program benefiting Chicago inner-city students.
Some of the high school seniors attending the event as part of the Urban Alliance Chicago program are from neighborhoods close to where the first lady herself was raised.
"That's one of the reasons as first lady I talk about my background," Obama told about 50 students. "Because I'm proud of it."
Obama used the event, which didn't veer off script and did not allow for any questions from the media, to offer support and advice to students who participated in paid internships and formal work training. She congratulated them for overcoming the obstacles and distractions many of them face while growing up in some of Chicago's toughest neighborhoods.