It is true that this advocate for youth financial literacy sits on many boards and travels in well-known circles. It is also true that she is sought after by many organizations eager for the words of wisdom and encouragement that enable their participants to strive for their dreams. But it wasn’t always so for her.
Left in the hospital after her birth, perry-Mason began her life in foster care. It seemed that she was unwanted and could wind up another statistic of the state. However, as an infant unaware of life itself, an inflection point occurred that began forming the woman we know as a financial wizard: a middle-aged woman adopted her and gave her love. The typical life of a child of the state would not capture and hold her hostage. She was able to attend college, which was the great equalizer and she found herself in the financial industry as a receptionist at a financial firm. She was able to turn that J.O.B (just over broke) into a career.
Another inflection point came when she read about a financial literacy camp for youth. The cost to attend that particular camp was $10,000.00 per person. There was no doubt that the youth in the inner city of Detroit would be unable to attend such a camp. It was apparent that the camp was for the elite. It was then and there that she turned all that she had learned and experienced into efforts to give at-risk youth the opportunity to become more than just P.O.O.R (Passed Over Opportunity Repeatedly). For 26 years she has energized young people to realize dreams that they never thought of. She has even influenced youths to be entrepreneurs at the young age of 9 years old! Through her efforts at Money Matters For Youth, young investors have had the opportunity to attend the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting in Nebraska. they, along with Gail met Warren Buffet, investor, tycoon, philanthropist, chairman, and chief shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway.
From foster care, Gail Perry-Mason grew to foster youth and turn them into entrepreneurs. From greeting visitors and answering phones at a financial firm, Ms. Perry-Mason shakes hands with and welcomes million-dollar clients. The financial guru who is Gail Perry Mason in her own words says, “this is all I want now. This is my desire, to give our youth opportunities on purpose!” if her motto: “Success Benefits Others First” is any indication, then she is the most successful woman.
When first speaking with Gail Perry-Mason one can hear the excitement in her voice. She tends to always be working on something and anticipating great results. That’s what she exuded when I interviewed her.
Gail Perry-Mason, Senior Director of a Financial Firm is the author of the book, “Girl Make Your Money Grow,” and the founder of Money Matter for Youth, a non-profit organization with the mission to make young investors and entrepreneurs of Metro Detroit area youth, who might not otherwise have the opportunity to realize their potential and expand on it. Every year for more than 25 years, she has hosted the Money Matters For Youth Money Cam. during that exciting week, she along with other professionals and volunteers coach, teach and mentor Metro Detroit area youth in financial literacy. They have visited banks, attended shareholder meetings, been instructed in etiquette, and learned to golf (on the golf course where many lucrative deals are sealed).
Even more, she encourages these young investors to give back to their communities. Many of those students who have been influenced by her come back in their own young adulthood to coach and mentor and serve other youth during the Money Camp. in 2020, because of the pandemic, Gail hosted the Money Camp virtually. The result was more than 300 attended the camp from all around the country.