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CHICAGO (AP) — Former President Barack Obama has introduced the first group of his foundation's fellows.

The 20 fellows who met Wednesday with Obama in Chicago were described as civic innovators from 11 countries. Obama said of the men and woman that "a more exciting group of young people" couldn't be found.

Foundation officials said the 20 were culled from more than 20,000 applications from 191 countries. They spent much of the week together learning about their work.

The foundation indicated the fellows' work will be diverse, from empowering parents and teachers so they can improve schools, to ensuring deaf children have equal access to literacy tools. They also will be working on changing the way the health care system treats addictions.

Obama joked the fellows don't need inspiration, "they just need money."

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