the president talked about something very personal, his father. And other fathers who walk out on their children. And he offered a plan to help kids succeed, even when they're angry and have made... See More
the president talked about something very personal, his father. And other fathers who walk out on their children. And he offered a plan to help kids succeed, even when they're angry and have made mistakes. Here's ABC's chief white house correspondent, Jonathan Karl. Reporter: Flanked by young men struggling to grow up in some of Chicago's roughest neighborhoods, president Obama opened up about his own troubles as a teenager. I didn't have a dad in the house. And I was angry about it, even though I didn't necessarily realize it at the time. I made bad choices. I got high, without always thinking about the harm it could do. Reporter: A side of the president we rarely see. I could see myself in these young men. And the only difference is, that I grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving. So, when I made a mistake, the consequences were not as severe. Reporter: Teens from Chicago saw themselves in the president, as well. To my surprise, he was just like me. Growing up without a father. And sometimes, not too concerned with school. Reporter: Today's event was to launch my brother's keeper, a mentoring program for at-risk youth. Part of our initiative is, no excuses. It will take courage. But you have to tune out the naysayers who say the deck is stacked against you, you might as well give up. Or settle into the stereotype. Reporter: This is the third time the president has met with this group of teens from Chicago. The last time was on father's day. And you can expect, he'll meet with them again. This, Diane, is Carly a growth that he's established a close, personal connection with the president. A very different kind of speech today. Thank you so much, Jonathan Karl.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.