Meet the YouTubers interviewing President Obama after the State of the Union address

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President Obama Interviewed By YouTube Stars to Connect with Young America

For the second year running, President Obama will sit down with three YouTube stars after his State of the Union address—which airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST—to discuss the issues facing young Americans.

Last year, the POTUS chatted with Hank Green, GloZell, and Bethany Mota about topics like Cuban policy and how to get young people interested in politics. This is just one of the recent initiatives the White House has undertaken to reach millennial and Gen Z audiences—including joining Snapchat this week, where behind-the-scenes content will be posted leading up to and during Obama's address.

Click through memorable State of the UnionMoments from the past:

Memorable State of the Union Moments from the Past
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Meet the YouTubers interviewing President Obama after the State of the Union address

2009 -

Like many presidents, Obama didn't give an official State of the Union his first year in office. But he did use a similar event - a televised address to a joint session of Congress - to pitch health care reform.

(AP Photo/Jason Reed, pool)

2009 -

What's remembered about that speech? Rep. Joe Wilson yelling at the president, "You lie!"

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

2009 -

The South Carolina Republican apologized afterward. The Democratic-led House rebuked him for acting out.

(AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

2010 -

Dubious manners were in the spotlight, again.

In his first formal State of the Union, Obama took the unusually antagonistic step of criticizing a Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance as six black-robed justices listened from the front row.

(AP Photo/Network Pool)

2010 - 

TV cameras caught Justice Samuel Alito wincing, shaking his head and mouthing "not true."

The result? Weeks of Republicans and Democrats arguing about who was ruder, the justice or the president.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

2011 -

It took tragedy to restore civility.

Obama's address came just 17 days after a gunman fired on a congresswoman and her constituents at a gathering in Tucson, Arizona. Six people died and 13 were wounded, including Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head.

(Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)

2011 -

Images from the House chamber that night were haunting: Lawmakers wearing black-and-white ribbons in memory of the casualties. An empty seat to honor Giffords.

(TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

2011 -

And in first lady Michelle Obama's box, the mother, father and brother of Christina Green, a 9-year-old girl killed when she went to meet her congresswoman.

That night lawmakers started a continuing tradition: some Republicans and Democrats now sit together for the big speech, instead of dividing into partisan camps.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

2012 -

Giffords' bittersweet return was the high point of the next State of the Union.

Frail but smiling, holding colleagues' arms for support as she walked into the chamber, Giffords was greeted with a standing ovation, chants of "Gabby, Gabby, Gabby," and a hug and kisses on the cheek from Obama.

(Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

2012 - 

The next day, she resigned her seat to continue her long rehabilitation.

(AP Photo/House Television)

2013 -

Obama talked about restoring the middle class and tackling climate change.

What was everybody talking about the next day?

 (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File-Pool)

2013 -

Marco Rubio's awkward reach for a bottle of water.

The Florida senator, often named as potential presidential material, gave the Republican response to the State of the Union. Halfway through, he became so parched that he all but dived for a plastic bottle somewhere off screen, stood up to take a quick sip of water, and then stooped and reached again to put the bottle back.

(AP Photo)

2013 -

"I needed water - what am I going to do?" Rubio joked on TV the next morning.

A Saturday Night Live spoof ensued.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

2014 -

Ronald Reagan started the State of the Union tradition of inviting everyday Americans and telling their inspirational stories.

Last year, a wounded war hero stole the show.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

2014 - 

Obama told how he had met Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg before his injury and again after a roadside bomb in Afghanistan nearly killed him.

Remsburg, a recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart who served 10 deployments, rose to his feet with the help of his father. His moved slowly, blind in one eye, left hand curled in a brace, a long scar across the right side of his head.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

2014 - 

Congress members gave him the longest, heartiest applause of the evening, a nearly 2-minute standing ovation.

Remsburg flashed a thumbs-up.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


This year's interview will be aired live Friday at 2:15 p.m. EST, on the White House's YouTube channel. Here's the rundown on who will be quizzing the ruler of the free world:

Thorne's YouTube bio reads: "Vlogger / Time traveler / Professional cuddler / Professional Gamer." As sWooZie, Thorne often vlogs about his travels and experiences with different video games, while telling engaging stories about his own life. In a video announcing his interview with Obama, Thorne encouraged viewers to use the hashtag #YouTubeAsksObama and submit questions on "whatever issues you want to ask the president about—which is his favorite Kardashian, what's his favorite video game. We're going to keep it fun, but I'm pretty sure he's going to stick to important questions."

Sandlin is known for his vlog, Smarter Every Day, in which he uses science to explore and experiment with the world. "I would love for this to be different. I want to ask questions about scientific topics, something I care about," he says in his own interview announcement. "What about the personal things about being the president? Wouldn't that be cool? We have a huge opportunity here."

Nilsen has been making YouTube videos as Missglamorazzi since 2009; her outgoing lifestyle vlog is a place for "curious minds and adventurous hearts," according to her bio. Nilsen also made a video about her upcoming White House trip, in which she said she would likely ask the president about LGBT issues, women's rights, health care, and unemployment.

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