At the beginning of this school year, Windsong fifth-grader Sydney Le received a surprise in the mail. It was a letter from the President of the United States. Le had written to him as a part of a class assignment the year before where students were asked to write a letter to an influential person.
“I had to write my letter to a famous person, and he’s the most famous person,” Le said.
After doing a little research on the President, Le decided to ask him a few questions regarding some of his policies so that she could learn more about the government and the power of the presidency.
“The President’s role is to take care of his people,” she said. “I was just trying to learn about things I didn’t know yet.”
Le’s teacher, Jill Halata, said Le was very excited when she received a response, sealed and signed.
“Most kids got letters back last year and she was pretty bummed that she didn’t get a response,” Halata said. “It came in over the summer, and we were able to bring it to her this year and the kids in her class got to see it and experience it, so it made a big difference on all of them.”
The biggest impact it made on the kids, according to Halata, is it showed them that their voice has power.
“It made the impact that [the President] really is listening even though he didn’t answer all of her questions,” Halata said. “But the fact that he even responded to her, she felt like her voice did matter at such a young age and it was important.”
“It made me feel happy because it showed me that I could make a difference and get a response from an influential person,” she said. “Even though I’m young, I can make a difference. Other people can write a letter and make a difference too.”
Making a difference is something Le is good at, according to Halata.
“She’s very on top of things, she helps other students out who need help, she’s a really good kid,” Halata said. “She gets along great with her peers. She has leadership skills that other students respond to.”
Her kindness and leadership skills are bound to take Le wherever she wants to go in life, perhaps as far as becoming President of the United States one day. But, no matter where life takes Le, Halata hopes she always stays true to herself. “I hope she stays an individual like she is, she’s a very unique little girl,” Halata said. “She always has a smile on her face, so I just want her to keep that and always remember who she is.”