Civic-Minded Professional: Alayna Bailey

AlaynaWhen Alayna Bailey graduated from Central College in 2014, she had the skills and connections to get hired right away, and she credits her community engagement experiences directly with that outcome.

“Service learning is how I ended up where I am today,” said Bailey, who is now Wellness and Lifestyle Director at a Des Moines retirement community. “I was able to make connections and relationships with staff and residents, and when an opportunity for employment arose, I was selected to join the team.”

Bailey says her service learning courses and community engagement experiences, which included volunteering and internships with her current employers, were the most memorable part of her college career, and had the most impact on her future professional success.

“I was able to build my communication, instruction, and leadership skills, as well as confidence,” said Bailey. “As a student and volunteer, I was able to gain real world experience. These opportunities challenged me to work hard, problem solve, and think outside the box.”

She was also able to form professional relationships with organizations in the community that have since provided guidance and professional development. This is a network she continues to use today to guide her career path and decisions about how to stay involved in the community, which remains a priority.

“My community involvement will only increase as I continue, both professionally and at home,” said Bailey. “It is important to stay up-to-date with local events, support local organizations and businesses, and give time to help others. As I learn and continue to grow, so will my engagement.”

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