When "Hamilton" star Mandy Gonzalez was growing up and dreamed of being a Broadway actress, she was repeatedly told she wouldn't succeed.
"I had a lot of people say because I was Mexican, because my last name was Gonzalez, that I would never make it to Broadway," she said.
But she proved them wrong.
The 'Hamilton' star met with 6th grade students at the Girls Prep charter school in the East Village on Tuesday. It's the first and only all girls tuition free charter school in Manhattan. And its mission is to not just prepare the students for high school and college, but success throughout life.
Public Prep CEO Ian Rowe runs the network of single sex charter schools in Manhattan and the Bronx.
"We want to demystify success," Rowe said. "So when our girls encounter someone like a Mandy Gonzales they can actually ask her, 'What were you doing when you were 7 years old?'"
Gonzalez, who sang the title track off her recent album, "Fearless," also worked with the girls on singing exercises and talking about what it means to be fearless.
"Fearless doesn't mean to live without fear," she said. "Sometimes you gotta feel the fear and do it anyway."
Leila Gonzalez was one of dozens of girls that got sing and talk with the star.
"She was really brave and I really liked her performance and how she taught us new stuff," she said.
One goal of the Public Prep charter schools is to introduce their students to successful adults they can identify with. And when Mandy Gonzalez told the students about the challenges she faced, Leila Gonzalez was paying attention.
"She persevered. She didn't listen to them. She was fearless."