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Te-Erika Patterson Headshot

A Simple Reply From the President

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A few days ago, my cell phone chimed and I saw that the President had replied to my request for a meeting with him. In my email request, I explained my idea for a jobs initiative that would ask big businesses to show their corporate social responsibility by holding a one-day mass hiring event. I call this initiative United 9 To 5. This initiative is aimed to help people who want to work be matched with their dream opportunities.

I would like the President to be involved, not as an administrator of this initiative, but to offer a formal Presidential Commendation to each big business that participates in helping Americans to live out their dream through employment.

When I think about the impact that this plan could have, my heart flutters and I feel warm inside. Imagine if someone had done this for ME -- allowing me to interview with the company of my dreams or even stood in the gap for me as I sought an entry level position when all hope was lost. All it takes is one person with one idea to get the ball rolling. Why can't that person be me?

So after writing and calling the White House to ask for a meeting with the President on numerous occasions, I finally received an email reply. It read:

Dear Friend:

Thank you for taking the time to write. I have heard many personal accounts from individuals and families across our country, and I appreciate your sharing your story with me.

Each day, I read letters from Americans so that I stay connected to their real-life and diverse experiences. By working together and involving all Americans in shaping the policies that affect us, we will build a brighter future for ourselves and our Nation.

Thank you again for sharing your story with me. I wish you all the best in the future.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

I read the email, shook my head and thought, "That's not good enough."

I want a meeting.

If you KNOW in your heart that what you are trying to do is a good thing, if you KNOW in your mind that you have the skills to organize it and implement it, if you KNOW that your idea will work for the benefit of all involved, you don't settle for a simple form letter. No way.

Now, let's see how creative I can be in trying my best to get the President's support to help encourage big businesses to change the lives of Americans all over the country.

This can happen. I can't give up.