One day, a group of racists descended on my parents’ diner and beat my father and godfather so badly they had to be hospitalized. Despite these hardships, my parents persevered and flourished. I followed their example and dedicated myself to my studies, excelled, and took pride in bringing home trophies and awards for my achievements. These were the formative events of my young life. They taught me how to be resilient and determined. They made me a fighter.
With this spirit I went to law school, became a varsity athlete, and graduated with honours and awards. I started my legal career at the elite Wall Street law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell (S&C). I was the first attorney in the firm’s 110-year history to become a regular associate without an American university law degree. At S&C, I served on the legal teams for some of the world’s biggest banks, such as Goldman Sachs, and saw the inner workings of dozens of massive corporations and of Wall Street’s biggest institutions.