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Jumpstart personal growth by finding passions and setting boundaries

Leadership is an extremely personal journey, both personally and professionally. For Jessie Funk, a motivational speaker, author, and professional singer, individual leadership and personal growth mean setting boundaries to form healthy relationships.

Funk, the most recent guest speaker at a Siegfried Youth Leadership Program™ event, gave an energetic presentation, encouraging students to carefully consider who they surround themselves with. To help avoid toxic relationships, she emphasized the importance of setting boundaries in an appropriate, respectful manner, and reassured the students that it was completely acceptable to speak up about things that make them uncomfortable. “We can be kind and strong at the same time,” she said.

Rob Siegfried, the CEO and Founder of The Siegfried Group and of Siegfried Youth Leadership Program™ kicked off the event, delivering a powerful session that asked students to explore their greatest accomplishments and the character ethic words that made those accomplishments possible. “How can you be more compelling to yourself and others?” he asked. “It’s by leading from your heart. And, I want to teach you mechanisms that make it possible to live your life consistent with your heart.”

Setting boundaries to protect your passion

Living a life consistent with your heart will give you the energy you need to do the hard work that leadership requires. And when you understand what your heart is passionate about, you can also began to set boundaries that protect those passions. Funk believes speaking up and setting boundaries is the key to healthy relationships and knowing your worth. “We need to have constant conversations about boundaries so we can give our kids the tools to have healthy relationships. Each and every one of us is worthy of happiness and finding fulfilling relationships,” she said.

Rob added,“One of my hopes is that students leave here feeling empowered. I want them to know they’re in charge of their own lives, and they can do whatever they set their minds to if they take control of their mindset and determine healthy boundaries.”

Creating the opportunity for leadership development

The Siegfried Group has spent 30 years helping people transform themselves into better leaders. In 2016, Rob expanded this reach and created an innovative initiative — Siegfried Youth Leadership Program™ — to help young people develop the leadership qualities they need to have a successful future.

“This program was inspired by my daughter and her belief that I could share something with today’s youth,” said Rob. “I want to impress on this younger audience the importance of personal leadership to find something inspiring, a personal passion, and use it to lead a purposeful and fulfilling future.”

More than 350 students came together at the University of Delaware for the sixth Siegfried Youth Leadership Program™ event. The program builds with each event, bringing a purposeful cadence to discussing these important topics.

During each half-day program, students focus on starting, or continuing, their journey toward being strong individual leaders. At this event, in addition to sessions led by Rob and Funk, four students joined a panel discussion, moderated by Rob, to talk about what they wanted their future to look like and how they could make it happen.

Future events

The next Siegfried Youth Leadership Program™ event will be on October 8, 2019 at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE. 


“This program has transformed many students in my classroom and I witness them reflecting and pursuing goals with more intention as a result!”

SYLP Teacher

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