Chautauqua Women's Club

Contemporary Issues Forum

How to Embrace Uncertainty in All Seasons of Life: A Journey of Shattering Barriers to Boundless Opportunities


Sylvia Farbstein, Speaker, Writer, and Advocate


Sylvia is on a mission to widen the lens through which people see their world. Sylvia’s transition from the structured world of private banking to navigating the unknown with her son Brandon, diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism, reshaped her entire perspective. She will share how they broke free from societal limitations, leading to a successful entrepreneurial path that has touched millions. With Brandon now a celebrated speaker and Gen Z activist, their story is one of refusing to be confined or defined by adversity. Sylvia will inspire you to view uncertainty with curiosity and harness life’s inevitable twists as catalysts for profound, exciting change.

Book Signing:

A Kids Book about Self-Love (by Brandon Farbstein)

Speaker Bio:

Sylvia Farbstein has spent the last two decades learning how life presents us with unexpected twists and turns that can shake us to our core and stop us in our tracks. It is a matter of having a growth mindset, one that she adapted, to utilize the challenges as a catalyst for an exciting change. Her professional world took a leap from the predictable and defined realm of private banking in New York City to one of few answers and no blueprint when her son, 21-year-old Brandon, was diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism at the age of 2. Their experiences navigating a world not built for somebody like him prompted them to seek ways to neither be confined nor defined by limitations, perceived or otherwise. This has led to an entrepreneurial career path for both mother and son that has impacted millions of lives. Brandon is a renowned speaker and Gen Z activist.

Sylvia helped Brandon launch his professional speaking career when he was 17 years old, advocated for anti-bullying legislation at the Virginia General Assembly, collaborated on Brandon’s two books (Ten Tall and A Kid’s Book About Self Love), and has advised hundreds of families how to leverage curios turn obstacles into opportunities. She proudly works as Brandon’s Momager as they spread his universal message to elevate global empathy. Most recently, Sylvia contributed to the new book 100 Diverse Voices on Parenthood with her message of “Combatting Comparison.” She strongly believes in honoring our children for their uniqueness rather than focusing on how they compare to others, including siblings.

Sylvia is a passionate speaker sharing ways to embrace uncertainty with a sense of curiosity rather than getting stuck in fear.