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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Singer, Speaker Helps Girls Develop Leadership Skills

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Jessie Funk is one of those people that lights up a room by walking into it. She brings a palpable, positive energy to the stage when she speaks or sings. In recent months, I’ve heard her speak and sing to two different audiences, one of youth and another of adults, with equal brilliance.

Jessie’s message is as powerful as her personality. She helps people to see bullying through a clear lens and provides simple, easy to execute tools for coping with it.

She doesn’t stop there. Jessie is channeling her passion for helping girls into a nonprofit called Ivy Girl Academy.

Jessie Funk, courtesy of Ivy Girl Academy

Jessie Funk, courtesy of Ivy Girl Academy

She recognizes the full range of challenges that girls face today. She says, “The problem is that too many girls are anorexic, addicted to drugs or alcohol, are cutting themselves, or struggling with depression and anxiety.”

Jessie is working to help girls cope in healthy, constructive ways that will empower them as leaders. “Ivy Girl Academy offers workshops, summer camps, and a membership program that teach girls empathy, conflict resolutions skills, self-defense, self-respect, basic psychology, and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help them problem-solve more effectively,” she says.

Jessie acknowledges challenges in her work, noting that girls face head winds in overcoming their problems. “The challenge we are all facing is that girls still deal with fear, insecurity, negative stereotypes, and a lack of leadership skills,” she says. “Too many girls don’t raise their hand, start the business, share their opinions, or take the leap of faith.”

Not one to be bound by limitations, Jessie is frustrated by the scale of her nonprofit today. She wants to help more girls so she’s developed a plan to make that happen. “Our limitations are that we can only serve girls within a small geographic region. This is why we are getting ready to launch a membership program that can allow us to serve millions of girls worldwide,” she says.

Jessie has a big vision for Ivy Girl Academy. “Our mission is to empower girls with the leadership skills they need to be confident, happy, and have healthier relationships,” she says. “Through the power of knowledge and information, we can help girls overcome challenges and rock their universe.”

On Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 4:00 Eastern, Jessie will join me here for a live discussion about her work at Ivy Girl Academy and her mission to empower girls. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Jessie Funk, courtesy of Ivy Girl Academy

Jessie Funk, courtesy of Ivy Girl Academy

More about Ivy Girl Academy:

Twitter: @ivygirlacademy

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’s Bio:

Twitter: @jessiefunksing

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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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!


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