President Barack Obama made it personal in 2014 when he launched My Brother’s Keeper, which offers young men of color opportunities to succeed. He’s continuing his advocacy for the initiative and for this at-risk demographic as his term in office comes to an end.

The president affirmed on Oct. 11, during an event at North Carolina A&T University, that the U.S. economy would reap benefits from helping these young men, ABC News reports.

By closing the achievement and wealth gaps for this group, the nation’s economy could grow about 2 percent faster, which represents trillions of dollars, he stated at the ESPN-hosted event.

Moreover, keeping them out of the criminal justice system and giving the young men a hand up into the middle class would enable them to become taxpayers, business owners and consumers.

“So if they’re unemployed or underemployed, if they’re in prison, that is bad for all of us, not just for them,” Obama said, according to the Associated Press. “This is an American challenge.”

The program also partners with the private sector and nonprofit organizations. Earlier in the day, the White House announced that Sprint Corp. will provide 1 million low-income high school students, who don’t have wi-fi at home, with new digital devices and free internet access.

SOURCE: PBSABC News, Associated Press, White House | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter

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