Obama Reveals 3 Americans Who Majorly Impressed Him In 2017

"As we count down to the new year, we get to reflect and prepare for what’s ahead."

For a lot of people, 2017 has been a rough year full of disheartening news. If you're one of them, allow former President Barack Obama to try and cheer you up. 

On Friday, Obama, who recently appeared in a PSA with Chance the Rapper and Stephen Curry, didn't simply share a few feel-good stories to make you smile. Instead, he pointed to a few news stories about people who gave back to their fellow Americans, noting that these were stories to remind us what's best about the United States.

"As we count down to the new year, we get to reflect and prepare for what's ahead," Obama wrote. "For all the bad news that seemed to dominate our collective consciousness, there are countless stories from this year that remind us what's best about America."

He highlighted Kat Creech, a wedding planner in Houston who helped turn a list of wedding guests into a volunteer organization after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston. He pointed to Chris Long, the NFL player who gave away his entire 2017 salary to help promote and fund educational equity in the cities he's played in. The former president also pointed to 10-year-old Jahkil Jackson, who is giving out "blessings bags" to homeless people in Chicago. 

Obama is not alone in his effort to find inspiring news from 2017. The Twitter user Jakob Atkins went viral for his thread on all the good news that came out of 2017. A Plus also covered 100 good news stories from 2017. But the stories Obama highlighted were unique in that they encouraged people to think about ways to give back to their own community. They were more than just positive stories, they were stories about Americans who had gone out of their way to help other Americans. 

"All across America people chose to get involved, get engaged and stand up," Obama wrote. "Each of us can make a difference, and all of us ought to try. So go keep changing the world in 2018."

Cover photo: Shutterstock / Evan El-Amin

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