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This Is The Fourth-Grader Who Asked Obama To Put A Woman On The $20 Bill

After the president acknowledged her idea, she recently joined forces with Women On 20s, a nonprofit that plans to petition the White House to replace Andrew Jackson. She spoke to BuzzFeed News about the idea.

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For the past month, people have been debating the idea of putting a famous woman on the $20 bill.

Women On 20s / Via youtube.com

The nonprofit Women On 20s spearheaded the discussion and launched a ballot with 15 options, including civil rights activist Rosa Parks, feminist writer Betty Friedan, and environmentalist Rachel Carson.

Once the public has decided on the woman most deserving of the honor, the group plans to send a petition to the White House. The goal is to replace President Andrew Jackson by 2020, the centennial anniversary of women's suffrage.

Sofia, a Massachusetts fourth-grader, inspired the Women On 20s' founder as she developed the campaign.

Courtesy of Women On 20s

As of Tuesday, the 9-year-old is an official junior ambassador for the nonprofit campaign, the group announced in a news release.

Sofia's mother requested that BuzzFeed News not use her daughter's last name.

After Sofia's class studied historical figures late last spring, she came home and asked her mom if she could write a letter to President Obama about putting important women in history on U.S. currency.

Courtesy of Women on $20s

When she and her classmates had to present on a historical figure, her peers who presented on men typically showed the class coins and dollar bills, but she noticed women in history didn't seem to have the same honors to their names.

"Why is that? Why are no girls on currency?" Sofia told BuzzFeed News. "Because women are just as important as men, and I think that it's important for the women to get recognized in this way."

Only Sacagawea and Susan B. Anthony have been featured on U.S. currency.

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Sofia and her family waited, but heard nothing back at first. Then, at the end of July, they got word Obama mentioned her letter in a speech.

Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

"A young girl wrote to ask me why aren't there any women on our currency, and then she gave me like a long list of possible women to put on our dollar bills and quarters and stuff — which I thought was a pretty good idea," he said while speaking on the economy in Kansas City, Missouri.

"I was so happy and I ran around the house," Sofia said.

So far, nearly 220,000 people have voted in the first-round ballot. Come Sunday, the three top vote-getters, plus late-addition Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller (below), will face off in the final round.

Associated Press

Some of the women on the ballot even line up with those Sofia suggested herself, like Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rosa Parks.

The campaign has spread to classrooms like Sofia's all across the country.

Dozens of teachers said that their classes are excited to take part, Women On 20s founder Barbara Ortiz Howard said in a news release.

"They're debating and campaigning and sending us essays and artwork celebrating their favorite candidates," she said. "It's just what we dreamed of when we hatched this mission."

Julie Kliegman is a News Fellow and is based in New York.

Contact Julie Kliegman at Julie.Kliegman@buzzfeed.com.

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