Question for Obama: Local student speaks to president

Published 12:12 am Saturday, January 16, 2016

LAPLACE — After listening to a newscast Dec. 6 where President Barack Obama gave a speech on terrorism, one LaPlace student was compelled to send him a letter.

St. Joan of Arc Catholic School student Noelle Remondet and her family never dreamed the letter written by the 10-year-old would get the response that it did. Noelle, along with her father, Brent, and her mother, Monique, were invited to hear Obama speak at a town meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.

“I can’t imagine being her age and being invited to something of that nature,” St. Joan of Arc development director Mona Roussel said. “One of her friends wrote a letter to Ms. Obama last year, and he got a response so she figured it wouldn’t hurt to express her feelings.”

Monique said that day in December Noelle wasn’t feeling well so she was lying on the couch watching TV. When the newscast came on with the President’s speech on terrorism, she said her daughter left it on. After hearing what the President said were the steps the government is taking to keep Americans safe, Noelle wrote her letter.

“I wrote to the President because his speech was nice and really encouraging to me,” she said.

Noelle and her family got the response to her letter earlier this week in the form of an invitation to the town hall meeting. After the President’s speech, he opened it up for questions from the audience, Brent said, adding Noelle was chosen to ask him a question.

At first Noelle said she didn’t know she would be one of only a handful of audience members chosen to ask a question, adding when he saw her looking directly at her, she felt like he was going to pick her.

“Once he pointed and called on ‘the girl sitting on her dad’s lap,’ I knew he had picked me,” she said. “I was nervous and excited at the same time.”

After having people in her life battle cancer, the young girl asked if the President felt there would be cure in his lifetime.

“He asked if I was good in math and science, and I said a little bit,” she said. “Then he said that maybe he couldn’t do it, but maybe I could one day. It made me happy and it was very encouraging.”

Noelle said she wants everyone to know they shouldn’t be afraid to write a letter, talk to someone or ask questions.