Even when my childhood was filled with some of her brutal pragmatism,
she always gave us a tremendous amount of love and encouragement.
And what mattered most to me were the words she spoke nearly every day when she said: "Mellody, you can be or do anything."
And it was because of those words that I would love school more than anything.
I wake up at the crack of dawn; I still do, to study.
And it was because of those words that I dreamed the biggest dreams.
And I hope you have your family's support as you pursue your passions and dream your own dreams.
You might need bravery also to push past some of the stereotypes that come with our culture and where we live.
When I was a little girl taking public transportation to school,
I can bet not too many people were sitting on the bus saying,
"There goes the future president of an investment management firm with nearly eleven billion dollars in assets under management."
They might have thought that if they had spent five minutes talking to me,
but I don't think they had those ideas and their expectations didn't run that high from afar.
So, I hope we can be better at judging people not on their assumptions and appearances,
but on their achievements and on their actions.
And here's how we can do that:
Just how I told you that you can be or do anything, I want you to believe that that's true of anyone and everyone.