At an event Thursday announcing the creation of five “Promise Zones,” President Barack Obama called the speech by Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy ninth-grader Kiara Molina “one of the best introductions I’ve ever had.” See the whole thing in the video above, then read the New York Daily News’ story about the event.

Obama vowed to create 20 “Promise Neighborhoods,” following the HCZ model of and enhancing and integrating social services within a geographic area, when he first ran for president. Now, his administration is billing the five Promise Zones announced this week — in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma — as the first created to carry out that vow.

But experiments in replicating the HCZ model have been underway for some time. Here’s our coverage of federal investment in Queens and another corner of Harlem, plus a story about what happened when a Queens middle school at the heart of a Promise Zone was slated for closure.