Jessie Funk was a mean girl. Think Lindsey Lohan in the movie. Really.
Jessie wasn’t born a bully, she was first bullied. She developed bulimia as a result.
Today, Jessie cringes when she thinks about the times she was bullied but hurts even worse when she thinks about when she was a bully.
Jessie, who resembles Lindsey Lohan, describes her reaction to being bullied, “My natural reaction was to turn around and become the worst bully you can imagine.” She says she wasn’t just a bully to her peers, but also to her parents, teachers and school administrators.
Over the years since, she has worked to repair relationships with her family and others whom she hurt when she acted out.
As penance or repentance for the harm she did, she has launched Ivy Girl Academy, a nonprofit that works with young women to help them cope with the challenges they face. She travels the country helping girls learn to cope with bullying.
Jessie related the story of a young girl in North Carolina who approached her after a presentation and gave her a hug. Jessie thanked her for the hug and the girl pulled up her sleeves to reveal the cuts on her arms. She told Jessie that she was gay and hadn’t been able to come out to her parents, who had made it clear that they’d disown her if she did.
Jessie has coached the girl, to help her both deal with bullies in her school and to prepare for a healthy dialog with her parents.
Recently, Jessie joined me for a live discussion about her work.
Jessie is a professional speaker and singer with five albums under her belt. Her life’s mission is helping girls overcome the challenges that she herself faced. Ivy Girl Academy is the primary vehicle that she uses for that.
More about Ivy Girl Academy:
We ignite personal & positional leadership skills in teen ladies through world-class workshops, summer camps, and certification programs.
The Ivy Girl Academy was created by Jessie Funk. Jessie has been a passionate advocate for teen girls since she was one herself. She has worked with, served and studied young ladies in many different capacities for the last eight years.
Jessie holds a leadership certification from the University of Notre Dame, she is a certified life coach and she has been a professional motivational youth speaker for a decade. Jessie has released five solo albums and has published five books including, “It’s Your Life…Own It. A Teen’s Guide to Greatness.”
Jessie Funk holds a leadership certification from the University of Notre Dame along with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. She has also been a professional youth speaker for twelve years, speaking for high schools and leadership conferences internationally. She is a “7-habits” facilitator for Franklin Covey, the most prestigious leadership training company in the world. She is a published author of two books for teens and she is also the Director of Education for the Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition. Her passion for empowering teenagers led her to start an international non-profit organization called “The Ivy Girl Academy,” a confidence and leadership- training program for teen ladies.
As a professional vocalist she has released five solo albums, has toured 36 states with the Broadway musical “Footloose,” has also been hired for hundreds of recording sessions as a studio vocalist including songs heard on TV’s “America’s Got Talent,” ESPN and “The Biggest Loser.” Jessie has walked away from three record deals unwilling to sell her soul for fame. She chooses to use her voice to lift and inspire in positive ways.
Jessie’s favorite role in life is that of adored wife and mother to two.
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