Skip to content

Siegfried Youth Leadership Program® continues to deliver inspiration with virtual classroom offering

For the first time, Siegfried Youth Leadership Program® (SYLP), a collaborative effort between The Siegfried Group, LLP (Siegfried), the University of Delaware’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE), and Junior Achievement of Delaware, offered a virtual version of its biannual event for students and teachers. 

“The new virtual format of SYLP gives teachers the flexibility they need to plug the program into a format that works best for their classroom,” said Carlos Asarta, professor of economics and director of the CEEE. The virtual SYLP offering features a three-part video series, hosts a high-energy motivational speaker (Juan Bendaña), and incorporates not only speaking presentations, but also related activities and lessons that teachers can use to further engage students who are learning either online or in-school.

Positively lead your life

The team behind SYLP thought that now was a particularly important time to reimagine the popular program and continue sharing it with Delaware’s youth. Living in a time of uncertainty, everyone, including young people, can feel a sense of disconnection, have low spirits, or face special challenges. The most recent SYLP looked at mindsets and ways to positively lead your life, in both good and trying times.

“Positive change at your school, with your friends, with a business idea or initiative you want to get off the ground, they all start with you,” Juan Bendaña, renowned speaker, author, DJ and the founder of the 100 Day Playbook, explained in his session. “It starts by taking on the things you can affect, the things that you can control, and the things that you can actually impact, because so many students allow themselves to be defined by what happened yesterday.”

Bendaña was the most recent guest speaker at the ninth, but first virtual SYLP event. And although the delivery of the program changed, the mission remained the same: to help young people build individual leadership, enabling them to enrich their personal and professional lives, now and in the future.

Your mindset determines your success

Kevin Keegan, Amy Devlin, and Brendah Walyemwa, leadership team members from Siegfried, also hosted sessions, asking students to think deeply about character ethic and embrace the power of their mindset. “Mindset is so important. It is the key to everything in leadership,” said Devlin. “It’s all about how you frame or reframe a situation for yourself.”

Another session focused on areas on concern, influence, and control, as well as gratitude. In a time of so much uncertainty, these topics were chosen to help students focus on the positives.

“There are things that happen to you that you have control over. There are things that happen around you that you have some influence over. There are things that happen around the world that you are concerned about, but don’t have control over,” said Walyemwa. “It’s important to know the difference between these parts of your life.”

Throughout the sessions, the students are asked to take quiet time to reflect and write down their insights, including their accomplishments and what they’re grateful for.

Since this was the first virtual SYLP, the team hosted a session for teachers to walk through the program, give them a personal experience with leadership advisory, and discuss how to keep the leadership theme strong in the classroom.

Kevin Keegan, Amy Devlin, and Brendah Walyemwa from The Siegfried Group

Creating leadership development opportunities for young people

Siegfried has spent more than 30 years helping people transform themselves into better leaders to exponentially improve their lives. In 2016, Rob Siegfried, founder and CEO of Siegfried, expanded this reach and created SYLP to help students in grades 8 – 12 develop the leadership qualities they need to have a successful future.

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

Future events

The impact of SYLP builds with each event and brings a purposeful rhythm to the leadership journey for young people. The next SYLP event format and timeline has yet to be determined. More information will be posted to when it’s available.

Read more

Read more about the most recent event in a story published by University of Delaware.


“Thank you for the leadership conference. After last year’s, I’ve been excited for the next one. I’ve had my struggles, like everyone has, and sometimes I find myself feeling a little lost and feeling like I’m just faking who I am out of comfort. This year, I felt like I really connected to what the speaker said. It helped me reevaluate some of my thoughts and feelings, and how to keep pushing forward. Thank you for creating a safe environment for us to share and expand.”

SYLP Student

Ready to experience SYLP?

If you’re curious about SYLP and want to learn more how you, your school, or your child can get involved, explore our different SYLP offerings.