Yesterday, President Obama and Tanei Benjamin, a single mother who is trying to put herself through school, shared a meal at the Charcoal Pit in Delaware. Obama arranged the lunch meeting after Benjamin sent the president an e-mail that prompted him to declare, “This is the person we are working for.”
Benjamin e-mailed the White House last July about the difficulty of balancing raising her 5-year-old daughter on her own and working to get her degree at DeVry University.
“I am a single mother of one beautiful 5-year-old girl,” she wrote. “I was married and divorced by the age of 16 …”
Benjamin explained that she works six days a week at $15 an hour but struggles to pay for her rent, child-care, taxes, and health-care. She also does not receive food stamps.
Obama read Benjamin’s letter and felt compelled to pass it along to his senior advisors. On the bottom of the printout of Benjamin’s e-mail he wrote, “This is the person we are working for.”
Apparently, Obama’s meeting with Benjamin confirmed his sentiments about her, because the White House reiterated Obama’s statement in a tweet Friday.
“This is the person we are working for.” —Obama on a letter he got from a single mom in DE: http://t.co/5MaqJ4YR0V pic.twitter.com/X1XTNoJMMR
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 18, 2014
Benjamin appeared equally impressed by the president.
“He made me feel so comfortable, he made me feel like he cared,” she said, “And not only about me, but about every parent like me who is going through the same struggle.”