DEAR ABBY: Last March you printed a letter I wrote. In it, I told you I had expressed my desire to become the first female U.S. president, but my teacher and fellow students laughed at me.
Since writing to you, I have received a flood of support from friends, Dear Abby readers and you, yourself. But wait, there is more! I received a letter from Sen. John Kerry, and just recently, one from the White House signed by President Bush.
The fact that I received a response to my letter from that high up on the ladder of life has inspired me. I feel that I can now follow my dreams and help other young women my age to believe that they, too, can do whatever they want if they just trust themselves.
I have included a copy of what President Bush had to say, in case you want to print it, Abby. And thank you for your help. -- MARTA IN MARYLAND
DEAR MARTA: Thank you for the update, and for granting me permission to print the letter you received from President Bush. (I printed Sen. Kerry's letter last May.) That he would take time from his campaign schedule to offer you his support shows his belief in young people like yourself, who, in the years to come, will determine the future of our country. Read on:
"Dear Marta: I recently learned about your desire to be president of the United States.
"America is a great country, where people can dream big and achieve their full potential through hard work and determination. I encourage you to continue setting high goals, studying hard and helping others.
"The lessons you learn now will help you develop the character and values you need to succeed in life and become a responsible leader.
"Your idealism, hope and energy reflect the spirit of America and can help to build a better future for all our citizens.
"Mrs. Bush and I send our best wishes. May God bless you, and may God continue to bless America.
"Sincerely, George W. Bush"