April 24, 2017 3:41 PM EDT

Former president Barack Obama made his first public appearance since leaving office on Monday, hosting a discussion at the University of Chicago with students from across the city. He said the work he did in Chicago as a community organizer laid the groundwork for his life in politics.

“This community gave me a lot more than I was able to give in return, because this community taught me that ordinary people, when working together, can do extraordinary things,” Obama said.

In his opening remarks, before chatting with students from all over the city about civic engagement and leadership, Obama said he’d thought a lot about what he wants to do for his “next job.”

“And what I’m convinced of is that although there are all kinds of issues that I care about and all kinds of issues that I intend to work on, the single most important thing I can do is to help in any way I can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world,” Obama said.

Read the full remarks here:

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