Noah McQueen used to spend more time fighting and getting arrested than getting good grades and listening to advice. He changed households and public schools 10 times before he landed at the Maryland Juvenile Justice Cheltenham Youth Center. But times have changed. “Do you need a ride back to the White House?” a presidential aide asked McQueen, 19, as he stood inside Eddie’s Hair Design in Adams Morgan on a recent day. “No, I have my own car now,” he responded. McQueen didn’t need a barber; he had a fresh haircut. He was there to work. McQueen was there with Broderick Johnson, head of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, to be a role model to students from Marie Reed Elementary School.
The initiative was launched last year to improve educational and job opportunities for young men of color. White House officials, including President Obama, have worked hard to help McQueen. His life changed three years ago, when, as a student at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro, he began mentoring children at nearby Barack Obama Elementary. “I get choked up . . . when I think about where I was,” McQueen said as he reflected on a troubled childhood that included several suspensions, arrests and other run-ins with the law. Now McQueen is a freshman at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He graduated in May from Wise, where he finished with a 3.25 grade-point average even though his freshman and sophomore years were academic disasters.
“At the annual State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol, Chuck Kennedy captured this poignant moment between the First Lady and U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg. Cory first met the President in 2009 at a D-Day ceremony in Normandy. Four months later, Cory was badly injured in Afghanistan and in a coma for three months. In early 2010, shortly after Cory came out of his coma, the President happened to be visiting patients at Walter Reed Hospital. As he walked into one of the patient’s rooms, hanging on the wall was a photo I had taken of the President and Cory in Normandy. The President then realized that he had met this badly injured Army Ranger at Normandy. Two years later, we were visiting Arizona, where Cory had gone home to further recuperate. The President asked if Cory would be able to greet him backstage. Amazingly, Cory was able to salute the President and walk across the room aided by a walker to shake hands with the President.” (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
February 4, 2014
“Members of Congress vie for the President’s attention following a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus in the East Room of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“The President talks with some of his national security advisors before a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Ukraine. I’m sure there will be people quick to comment about his wearing casual clothes and having his feet on his coffee table. Let’s keep perspective in mind: it was a Saturday, and a President is the President whether he’s wearing a suit on a weekday or casual clothes on a weekend. And a President, any President, isn’t disrespecting the office if he puts his feet on a table or a desk; he’s just being relaxed.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama looks at a card created during a mentoring event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Nov. 29. The students gathered to make holiday cards for active duty service members. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
President Obama announces the Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative, a nationwide effort to support responsible fatherhood and to help reengage absentee fathers in the lives of their children at a Father’s Day event in Washington, DC. June 21, 2010.