After Years Of Taking Questions, Obama Turns The Tables On One Teen

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is making the switch from interviewee to interviewer.

The president questioned a Maryland high school senior in the My Brother's Keeper program. The interview for the StoryCorps oral history project was airing Friday on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition."

Noah McQueen discussed going from being in trouble with the law to being an award-winning student.

Obama asked McQueen how he softened after being a "knucklehead." McQueen said he became accountable for his actions. "It wasn't until I decided to do better for myself, that I had to be held accountable for my actions, so I'm not the same person," McQueen said. "I'm not the same creature. Everything about me, and my being is different."

McQueen said as a black man, he feels pressure to always make the right decisions or be judged.

The president told McQueen he'll probably make more mistakes since he's only 18. But Obama said he's proud of McQueen.

"Well, look, listen. At the age of 18, I didn't know what I was going to be doing with my life," Obama said. "And you shouldn't feel like you can't make mistakes at this point. You're 18 years old, I promise you you're gonna make some more as you go along.

"But one of the things you've discovered is that you have this strength inside yourself," Obama continued. "And if you stay true to that voice that clearly knows what's right and what's wrong, sometimes you're going to mess up, but you can steer back and keep going."

The interview marks the first anniversary of Obama's initiative to help young minority men.



Monuments in Washington D.C.