Farewell Obama: An Open Letter To Our Outgoing President


Dear President Obama,

I have held great pride in being able to say that you are my President. When I was nine years old and my teachers would tell our classes we are living through history, I didn’t know exactly what it entailed. But after these eight progressive and inspiring years of your presidency, I have been so lucky to learn what this means.

I have not been alive for many presidencies, and I have not had a full grasp of the concepts of politics until my recent teenage years, but I know that my generation will be able to look back on these eight years with pride and gratitude. The first few years you were elected I didn’t quite understand the governmental institutions and processes. I didn’t understand the full magnitude and depth of your position. I just knew that you were in charge, and I knew that I was happy about it. A respectful, honest, likable, and funny leader, was my President. As a child I heard the words spoken of “Change” time and time again. I wouldn’t go a day without hearing you speak on tv or hear my parents, teachers, or even classmates mention your name. Lets face it, 2008 was all about Obama.

I am beyond thankful that I witnessed this promised “Change” turn into legalized same sex marriage, America’s unemployment rate being cut in half, removal of thousands of troops in Afghanistan, the end of the Iraq War, increased care for veterans, The Affordable Care Act, the passing of the Hate Crime Prevention Act, a double in renewable energy, and now most important to me, a push for women’s equality. The list of remarkable achievements goes on. I now understand that the history I lived through was not just the election of the first Black President. The history I lived through was an era of progression, advancement, and improvements to our country’s economy and society. I grew up able to acquire a passion for the issues America faced because I was able to to grow up alongside an effective, strongly led democracy.

Obama, you did not just incite my respect for our country, you taught me the power and self worth of an American individual. You embraced struggle head on, not just appealing to a “certain kind” of American, but real, everyday people. Workers, immigrants, women, LGBTQ+ community, you spoke to and for all Americans, with an equal and honorable respect. Expressing the change one can bring to not only their own lives, but to the lives of the citizens around them. You spoke to my generation, those who just quite miss the voting age, and embraced and welcomed us as the future of our country. I have so much respect towards you because you have shown great respect towards me.

Having the Obama family represent my country has been an honor that I am going to greatly miss. I can look at you, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia as amazing role models. The class and example set by your family will be an everlasting ideal for all Americans. One of the things I will come to miss most will be the moving and powerful speeches of both my President and my First Lady. I will never forget the well spoken message by Michelle Obama, “When they go low, we go high”. I will miss your family as much as I will miss you.

Many are apprehensive and others scared at this moment, but I will take your words and message to heart.  Whenever I look at the challenges that face our country and consider if it is possible for us to overcome them, I will confidently assert “Yes, we can!”  I know that I must retain the same optimism and “Hope” that I learned over these eight years.

Thank you Mr. President.


Chelsea Jones