Tuesday marked an amazing day for 13 summer interns at the Obama Foundation in South Side Chicago when they received a special surprise visit from former President Barack Obama himself. 

What was set to be a visit to the foundation office for a meeting with Chief Engagement Officer Michael Strautmanis turned into a special moment when Obama surprised the teen participants and joined them for an impromptu chat to learn about their experiences. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the teens are interns for the Obama Youth Jobs Corps, a partnership between the former president’s foundation and nonprofit development organization Urban Alliance to prepare teenagers for the workforce. 

“Part of the goal of this program is to expose you to what’s possible,” Obama said. “All of you all are focused in a way that I can’t say I necessarily was when I was your age. So you guys are already ahead of the game.”

Each of the participants recently graduated high school; during their chat, Obama urged them to remain involved in their respective communities. 

“You guys are just such good role models for so many people your age,” he said

The program plans to provide year-round training and internships to South Side Chicago’s high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.