Woman behind President’s letter discusses the experience

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Fishers woman got the chance of a lifetime as President Obama shared her story to the national media during a recent trip to Indianapolis.

Jyliann Milham wrote to the president last year to thank the government for federal grants that helped her pay for school.

She didn’t think anything was going to come out of it until she heard back from the White House.

The single mother of four thought it was some sort of hoax when she received an email from someone at the White House asking her about the letter. That email turned into a long phone call then an invitation to attend the town hall meeting at Ivy Tech College.

Milham says it was a very surreal moment that day.

“I honestly did not know if he was going to use my story in his speech or not until he started to say it,” said Jyliann Milham, wrote letter to president. “When he started to say I got a letter last summer, I’m like, oh my goodness he is going to use it.”

Milham is studying to become a radiology technologist.

She says she was sitting right in front of the podium as the President read her letter. She admits she did get a little teary eyed, but that speech later turned into something much more.

“During the speech, President Obama talked about providing the first two years of college free so having a 16-year-old getting ready for college in two years and hearing that would be a huge help for me and for her not to have student loans,” said Milham.

Milham’s daughter, Mikayala Ortell is hoping to pursue a career in the medical field and has started looking at different college programs.

“Watching her is like a really good example of like, what I hope to accomplish so I really want to complete college and do as well as she’s doing,” said Ortell.

Milham says she wrote the letter just to say thank you and didn’t think it would lead to meeting the president.

“I said, President Obama, I had to miss clinic today is there any way I could get a note for my teacher,” said Milham. “He said, yes of course, he laughed and he called his aid over and his aid wrote a letter and he signed the letter.”

Milham told 24-Hour News 8 she sent the note to her teacher, who was very understanding and did not penalize her for missing clinic that day. Milham is graduating in May and has already started looking and applying for jobs at different hospitals.

Meanwhile, the president’s “America’s College Promise Proposal” would offer students two years of free education at a community college. Students would be required to have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.

The White House says it would cost around $60 billion dollars over 10 years. The program would be funded by the federal government and some by the states if approved by Congress.


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