From Heartbreak to Impact: Startup Lessons with Maria Barrera, CEO Clayful

In 2024, our main focus at Clayful is to scale our impact. We aim to 10x the number of students we’re helping, tackling the youth mental health crisis head-on.

– Maria Barrera

In this illuminating podcast episode, host Debbie Goodman speaks with Maria Barrera, CEO of Clayful Health. She delves into her startup journey inspired by a distressing New York Times article highlighting a surge in suicide rates among eight-year-olds. Recognizing the inherent challenges within the high-pressure startup environment, Maria’s steadfast commitment to Clayful’s mission shines through as she underscores the company’s focus on providing proactive mental health coaching to students, with an aim to tackle underlying issues before they escalate.

Tune in to hear practical nuggets of wisdom relating to:

  • The importance of prioritizing self-care amidst the demanding startup landscape.
  • The need for intentional well-being practices while navigating the intricacies of building a remote team culture.
  • And how Maria is thinking about the year ahead for Clayful –  determined to scale impact and reach more students to address the pressing concerns surrounding youth mental health.

About our guest, Maria Barrera:

Maria Barrera is a Stanford-educated engineer and founder & CEO of Clayful. She is committed to addressing the youth mental health crisis. Born in Colombia and understanding the pressures of adversity, she leverages her experience from her pioneering role on Nearpod’s founding team to create impactful solutions in education.

Through her tireless research and collaboration with a diverse team of experts, Maria developed Clayful, offering accessible, preventative mental health resources to families of all socio-economic statuses. Her dedication to training a diverse mental health workforce and establishing partnerships with schools has already impacted thousands of students across the country.


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