Former President Barack Obama revealed Wednesday his intention to donate $2 million to a summer jobs program for young people in Chicago.

He made the announcement while at a roundtable about his soon-to-be-built presidential center and library in Chicago. The completion of that project is "about four years" away, Obama said.

However, the programming of this effort, Obama said, he intends to start this year.

"We don't want to wait for a building ... this is about reaching out right now," he said. Obama said Chicago, where he got his start as a community organizer before jumping into politics, "has never looked more beautiful."

He lamented that the first thing people outside the city talk about when discussing Chicago is the violence. To that point, Obama said he and his wife Michelle will "donate $2 million to our summer jobs programs here in the community so right away young people can get to work."

Obama has come under heavy criticism, even from fellow Democrats, lately for his reported $400,000 speaking fees, equal to the salary a president makes per year.