Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It is a pleasure for me to be here tonight. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Christopher Gardner and I am 18 years old.
It is an honour to be standing here with all of my fellow graduates. Many of you probably know my father, Chris Gardner. My father has a big impact on me, standing here tonight with all of you.
He has been my inspiration, and my hero throughout my whole life. I would not have been here today if it was not for him and for that I thank you, dad.
Another memory I had as a child was when my dad and I went to the park and I was shooting hoops. He asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and like many other kids, I immediately said I wanted to be a basketball player when I grow up.
I looked at my dad and he looked at me like I was crazy. He told me that I should be realistic. I of course immediately agreed with him, but then he told me “Don't ever let someone tell you you can’t do something not even me ”.
Since that day I have upheld that promise and every time someone doubted me or told me you are not going to make it, it motivated me, even more, to prove them wrong and the satisfaction from succeeding when people doubt you is so rewarding and worth it all.