Skip to content

Siegfried Youth Leadership Program® expands to Chicago with hybrid leadership development program

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 (JA), expanded its hybrid live-stream program to include schools across Delaware, the program’s founding state, and newly, Chicago.

Growing the base to spread the message

“Siegfried Youth Leadership Program has always been about creating an impact on an individual level to spark positive change in communities,” explained Abby Durelli, Marketing Associate at The Siegfried Group and coordinator of SYLP. “We are proud to expand our base to further spread that message at Benito Juarez Community Academy in Chicago and to additional Delaware schools. We can’t wait to connect with more students in the fall!”

On March 9, 2022, Siegfried’s Lauren Campbell, Meghan Cartmell, Amy Devlin, Bill Perry, Stephanie Scoleri, and Brendah Walyemwa acted as live presenters at six Delaware high schools: Christiana High School, Howard High School of Technology, Paul M. Hodgson Vocational Technical High School, Middletown High School, MOT Charter High School, and Smyrna High School. Siegfried’s Kevin Keegan also served as a presenter at Benito Juarez in Chicago, IL. The speakers, along with representatives from CEEE and JA, facilitated 80-minute live assemblies that also included a real-time, virtual, and interactive guest speaker keynote by Duncan Kirkwood, an author and global resilience trainer.

“When you figure out what you want to do, when you set a goal, think of your life like a GPS,” shared Kirkwood. “When construction comes up, if there’s an accident, the GPS doesn’t breakdown and post on social media. Instead, it says ‘rerouting.’ As long as you are willing to move forward, the GPS will set a path for you. I encourage young people to think of their life like that, to set goals and keep rerouting until they get there, and just focus on the next step.”

In addition to Kirkwood’s virtual presentation, live speakers from Siegfried presented on individual leadership topics and shared activities and reflections to engage students in and out of the classroom. The hybrid programming stays true to the SYLP mission of helping young people build individual leadership, enabling them to enrich their personal and professional lives, now and in the future.

Embracing gifts for a fulfilling future

“I’ve always been a talker and got in trouble a lot as a kid because of it,” said Kirkwood. “I didn’t realize that it was my gift, but once I did, I knew I had to use my voice to help people find their purpose.”

Throughout the sessions, students were asked to take quiet time to reflect and write down their insights, including their accomplishments and how they want to be courageous.

“I learned to embrace what makes me unique so that I can enjoy my success,” shared a student from Middletown High School. “It doesn’t have to happen tomorrow, I can just focus on being me to achieve my goals.”

“I was impressed with the students’ eagerness to participate, learn, and commit to their individual leadership development,” reflected Steph Scoleri, Director at Siegfried. “They each had their own view of what a leader should be and what character ethic traits they should exhibit. It was inspiring to see them each embrace their individuality as they look to become leaders. I left the day feeling very inspired by the students and the program as a whole!”

It’s never too early to teach leadership  

Siegfried’s CEO and Founder, Rob Siegfried, lives out the higher purpose of his company day after day: We help People transform themselves into better Leaders to exponentially improve their Lives!

“SYLP was inspired by my daughter and her belief that I could share something with younger generations,” said Siegfried. “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.”

“We help our clients, employees, and communities grow through individual leadership,” said Brendah Walyemwa, Director of Employee Engagement and Employee Inclusion and Advancement at Siegfried. “Through SLYP, we work with middle school and high school children on individual leadership concepts to allow them to engage with what they most want out of life and take purposeful steps along the way to achieve their goals.”

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 expanded this reach and created SYLP to help students in grades 8 – 12 develop the leadership qualities they need to have a successful future.

Learn more

Watch a recap video of the event!

Future events

The impact of SYLP builds with each event and brings a purposeful rhythm to the leadership journey for young people. More information about our next program will be posted to

About Siegfried  

Siegfried is an entrepreneurial leadership organization that provides financial executives with a powerful combination of leadership advisory, talent delivery, and financial advisory services. Through this strategic bundle of services, leaders and financial decision-makers can better clarify the best path forward and we can assist them with getting their most important work done right. For more than 30 years, we’ve worked with our clients to deliver more than just success. We help people transform themselves into better leaders to exponentially improve their lives.

About Siegfried Youth Leadership Program®

This impactful program provides an impetus for students in grades 8 through 12 to strengthen their individual leadership capabilities during an event that features a series of inspiring talks, group sessions, and sharing of insights. Siegfried Leadership Program® is a collaborative effort between Siegfried, the University of Delaware’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, and Junior Achievement 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.