“I am so proud of you.” Those six words stood out on a handwritten note that former president, Barack Obama sent to Danielle Metz, a woman he granted clemency to in 2016.
“I am so proud of you, and am confident that your example will have a positive impact for others who are looking for a second chance,” Obama wrote to Metz. “Tell your children I say hello, and know that I’m rooting for all of you,” the full note read.
Obama wrote it after learning that Metz made the dean’s list at Southern University. In an article published by USA Today on Monday, Metz shared that she made the Dean’s List with a 3.75 GPA and wanted Obama to know.
“You don’t know what you did for me. I’m finally coming into my own. I made the honor roll,” she said in the interview.
Obama granted Metz clemency in 2016. She had already served 23 years of three life sentences and an additional 20 years for her role in her husband’s cocaine distribution ring.
Due to her husband’s controlling nature, she mainly stayed at home to raise her children. On occasion, under her husband’s orders, she delivered packages to Houston. While she was never found in possession of any drugs, the judge told her that the harsh sentence was a message to “others who might be tempted to follow your path of crime.” She was a 26 year old beauty school student at the time.
After her release, Metz enrolled in Southern University in pursuit of her goal to become a social worker.
Like former president Obama, we’re rooting for you as well, Danielle!