The Girl from Watts
I do hope that Baruch realizes what a tremendous asset
you are to the future of this nation.
- Angela Nuzzi, Spring 2010, Organizational Behavior, Zicklin School of Business
Prof. Leigh’s real-world leadership journey from an elementary school teacher to an award-winning business educator makes up the mosaic of her life.
Leigh, the youngest of nine children, was raised in the Watts area where blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other cultures lived; the region was later named South Central Los Angeles. In first grade, Leigh knew that she wanted to be a teacher and at Bret Harte Junior High School she joined Future Teachers of America. Leigh attended George Washington High School, missing by a few years the notorious gang infestation portrayed in the movie Hard Lessons.Bret Harte Junior High School
The flames from the Watts Riots, then ‘the bloodiest race riot in the history of the United States’, were simmering when Leigh went off with honors to Long Beach State College. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in Social Welfare – but without a resume and a clear vision of her future.
After a try at running a small shop, Leigh moved to Boston and earned her M.Ed. at Boston State College. However, she realized that being a sixth grade teacher wasn’t a large enough playing field. She entered the corporate world of technology, marketing, and public relations – combining the skills she gained into starting her own PR firm. Leigh instigated her company’s PR by writing a technology ‘fable’ which later resulted in being invited to read excerpts of her booklet during a week of Teddy Bear Teas at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Boston.
Leigh’s move to Manhattan opened doors for her to gain workplace intelligence at Hertz Rent-A-Car and other travel companies, Oppenheimer Capital and other Wall Street firms, large and small non-profits, etc. It also gave her space to write, produce, and perform Mooseface: Naked in My 50th Birthday Suit, a poignant, funny, and well-directed show of life reflecions while deciding what to wear on her birthday.Mitchel P. Wallerstein, President, Baruch College
The first time she taught in the Marketing Department at New York City Technical College, Leigh was inspired to continue teaching and went on to co-develop and present classes in training-the-trainers at Continuing & Professional Studies at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York. Her approach to teaching as an Adjunct Instructor in the Management Department at the Zicklin School of Business within Baruch, a senior CUNY college and one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, earned Prof. Leigh the 2011 Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching.
To invite Leigh to your organization for a motivational presentation on ‘The Girl from Watts,’ ‘The LTR Story,’ or a customized program for your audience, call Leigh at 646-373-4321 or e-mail her at Leigh@LTR-NYC.com.