In celebration of National Entrepreneurship Week, we’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on Leigh Mason, BUILD California mentor for the last eight years. Leigh’s journey with BUILD exemplifies the transformative impact of mentorship on young minds, fostering a culture of innovation, resilience, and community.
Leigh embarked on her mentorship journey in 2015. Leigh comes from a background in career services at Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley, and her passion for guiding students toward their professional and personal aspirations made her a natural fit for BUILD’s mission. After returning to the Bay Area, Leigh continued her mentorship journey, offering her expertise and support to student teams at Sequoia High School in 2017.
One student, Gerryk Madrigal, stood out to Leigh with his remarkable leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit. Throughout Gerryk’s high school and college journey, Leigh remained a steadfast mentor, providing guidance, encouragement, and support. Their relationship blossomed into a meaningful friendship rooted in shared experiences and mutual respect for entrepreneurship.
Gerryk was CEO of his company, Tempest Inc., where his team made stress balls. His company soared under Leigh’s mentorship. One standout moment was a selling event hosted at Box, where students showcased their products to Box employees. The experience left a lasting impression on the students, underscoring the real-world impact of their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Leigh has just started mentoring in a bilingual English and Spanish classroom at Woodside High School. Her commitment to nurturing the next generation of leaders stems from her own desire for mentorship during her formative years in high school. She also mentored a company called PunchPad in 2019. This product offering is a sponge cushion covered in felt that allows users to punch their way through life by reducing hand pain and stress.
Reflecting on her mentorship experience, Leigh has the following comments: “It’s thrilling! High school students are such a joy and there is never a dull moment.” She continues to say “I never get tired of hearing their ideas and how they want to bring things to life.” For Leigh, mentorship is about forming lasting relationships and being a source of unwavering support during the highs and lows of high school. Leigh’s advice to new mentors is to have fun with their students and be fully present for them.
As we celebrate National Entrepreneurship Week and our 25th Anniversary, Leigh Mason’s story serves as a powerful reminder of the valuable impact mentorship can have on shaping the future of our young leaders! Leigh, thank you for your dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to the success of our amazing BUILD students.
To learn how you can join Leigh in mentoring BUILD Bay Area student entrepreneurs or becoming a mentor with BUILD.org, please visit https://build.org/volunteers/