(CNN) – As someone who grew up without a father figure at home, President Obama says he knows how detrimental it can be not having a dad present for guidance and support. That’s why, he said in his weekly presidential address, he tries every day “to be the husband and father my family didn’t have when I was young.”
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While acknowledging that no government program can ever replace a parent’s love, Obama said anyone can act as a mentor or a friend to a child in need of a parental figure. Citing his mentorship program launched this year, “My Brother’s Keeper,” Obama said an “all-hands-on-deck effort” is needed by the government to help youths reach their full potential.
The effort to mentor children without father figures hits home for the President. At a “My Brother’s Keeper” event in February, he said that the issue "goes to the very heart of why I ran for president.”
In his weekly address, the President said he will hold the first-ever White House Working Families Summit to bring modern-day families together. “We’ve still got too many workplace policies that belong in the 1950s, and it’s time to bring them up to date for today’s families, where oftentimes, both parents are working,” the President said. The summit will occur on June 23rd.
The President also tied the issue of raising the minimum wage to helping moms and dads be the best parents they can be. While addressing issues such as affordable child care, sick days, and equal pay for women, Obama said Congress needs to follow the lead of many states and "give America a raise.”
Noting Father’s Day Sunday, the President urged everyone to get their dads a gift, even though he admitted, “what we give our fathers can never match what our fathers give us.”