It wasn’t difficult for first lady Michelle Obama to relate to a group of recently-graduated Chicago public high school seniors Thursday.

On a trip to her hometown, Mrs. Obama praised the work of Urban Alliance Chicago, a Washington, D.C.-based career training program that gets high school seniors internships with top companies and helps prepare them for post-secondary education.

“To you all students for having the courage to step outside your comfort zones, that was probably initially pretty scary,” she told the inaugural class of Urban Alliance Chicago. “I know that feeling.  I was you guys — I say that all the time — living on the South Side, looking at these buildings, wondering what it was like to work in those offices, finding real opportunities for myself, when I didn’t have networks or connections,” she said.

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