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Michelle Obama: Chicago Students Worried 'About Their Own Death'

By DNAinfo Staff on May 5, 2013 4:04pm

Michelle Obama on Sunday Morning
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CHICAGO — The death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton and the violence at Englewood's Harper High School hit close to home for Michelle Obama, the first lady said in an interview that aired Sunday.

Lee Cowan of CBS's "Sunday Morning" talked to Obama about how the recent Chicago tragedies have touched her. She told him about her meeting last month at West Englewood's Harper High School — where 29 former or current students have been shot in the last year, eight of them fatally.

"One kid told me he felt like he lived in a cage, because he feels like his community is unseen, unheard, and nobody cares about it," Obama said. "We have millions of kids living in these kind of circumstances who are doing everything right, and we, as a nation, have to embrace these kids and let them know that we hear them, we see them."

Obama has been outspoken about Chicago violence since Hadiya, a King College Prep student, was killed a week after returning from President Barack Obama's inauguration in January. She attended the honor student's funeral, and the Pendleton family was invited to the White House for the State of the Union Address.

She later gave a speech during a fundraiser for anti-violence initiatives in Chicago, where she said more activities, education and resources can help kids in struggling areas stay off the streets.

Obama told CBS she encountered kids at Harper who "wake up and they wonder whether they're going to make it out of school alive."

"I mean every single kid worries about their own death, or the death of someone, every single day," she said. "What's our obligation to these kids? We do have one."