Morales family photo.

Eight-year-old Martha Kennedy Morales ran a competitive campaign for class president at Friend Community School College Park in Maryland. The third grader, who is in a combined third and fourth grade class, lost by just one vote to a male classmate, a popular fourth-grader.

Defeat can be disappointing on any level – from national to regional to scholastic – and words of wisdom can offer encouragement when one would otherwise give up. And that’s exactly what Martha got.

When Hillary Clinton heard the election results (which Martha’s father posted on Facebook), she sent a letter of encouragement.

“My mom was just picking me up from school, and she pulled the letter out of her purse,” Martha told the Washington Post. “I opened it up, and it was a letter from Hillary Clinton. I was very surprised.”


“I learned from your father, Albert’s post on Facebook about your election experience running for Class President,” read the letter. “Congratulations on being elected Vice President!”

“While I know you may have been disappointed that you did not win President, I am so proud of you for deciding to run in the first place. As I know too well, it’s not easy when you stand up and put yourself in contention for a role that’s only been sought by boys.”

The letter encouraged Morales to keep going.

“The most important thing is that you fought for what you believed in, and that is always worth it. As you continue to learn and grow in the years ahead, never stop standing up for what is right and seeking opportunities to be a leader, and know that I am cheering you on for a future of great success.”

Nick Merrill, spokesman for Clinton, confirmed the letter is authentic, while Martha confirmed that she is moved. “It was really touching to know that Hillary Clinton herself sent me a letter,” Martha told CNN. “That doesn’t happen every day.”

Martha was made class Vice President and says she’s happy with her newly appointed position.

"I'm happy I get to be the tie-breaker when the House and the Senate can't agree on something,” Martha told the Washington Post.

In an interview with CNN Newsroom, Martha confessed she was bummed out by the election results. “It's disappointing to figure out that you lost something that you fought for really hard and you put a lot of effort into it,” said Martha. However, the eight-year-old’s spirit won’t be broken, and she says she had plans to run for class president again should the opportunity occur.

But as for Martha’s immediate plans? The eight-year-old is fostering a relationship with her new pen pal by working on a thank you note.

The full letter is included below:

Dear Martha:

I learned from your father, Albert’s post on Facebook about your election experience running for Class President at . . . . Congratulations on being elected Vice President!

While I know you may have been disappointed that you did not win President, I am so proud of you for deciding to run in the first place. As I know too well, it’s not easy when you stand up and put yourself in contention for a role that’s only been sought by boys. The most important thing is that you fought for what you believed in, and that is always worth it. As you continue to learn and grow in the years ahead, never stop standing up for what is right and seeking opportunities to be a leader, and know that I am cheering you on for a future of great success.

With best wishes and warm regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
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