Jesse Bailey '16

executive DIRECTOR for PATHWAYS SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS

Jesse Bailey '16
executive Director for Pathways Shelter for the Homeless, Yankton, SD
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Human Service
Campus: Yankton 

 At Mount Marty College, dedicated faculty helped Jesse Bailey find his passion, complete his degree and begin a promising career focused on service and community.

Why Mount Marty?

Initially recruited to Mount Marty College for the Lancer Baseball program, Jesse Bailey ’16 was a junior college transfer looking to play baseball while continuing his education. What he found when he arrived on campus, however, was a team approach that extended far beyond the baseball diamond. Coaches, professors and counselors all had a hand in helping him find his passions and work toward his future.

“The most influential person during my time at MMC was Lori Lincoln,” Jesse says of his academic advisor. “Initially, I was a less-than-desirable student. I would skip class and slack off on projects as my focus was on baseball instead of developing my career. She could have chosen to let me continue down that path and focus on her other students, but she urged me to step back and reexamine my values.”

It was Lincoln who first introduced Jesse to nonprofit organizations and helped him develop a passion for the human services field. And when Jesse stepped away from school for a while in 2011 to gain work and life experience, Lincoln kept in touch and urged him to finish his degree.

“I cannot thank her enough for the attention and guidance she provided me,” Jesse says.    

Mount Marty Impact

Today, Jesse serves as executive director for Pathways Shelter for the Homeless in Yankton, where every day he puts to work the lessons he learned at MMC.

“MMC instilled in me a passion for helping others,” he says. “Every member of the staff and faculty is pleasant and willing to help at any moment’s notice. They made me want to be available for others in the same way, which is essentially what I have been blessed with the opportunity to do for the past six years.”

The religious atmosphere at MMC also has a hand in the positive environment on campus, Jesse adds. “They find a way to instill the core Benedictine values into the classroom without using religion. On the other hand, if a student wishes to be involved religiously, they are given the freedom to do so.”

Road to Success

From valuable classroom instruction, to service-learning opportunities, to an internship with the local court services department, Jesse says the experience he gained while a student at MMC helped lead to his current position with Pathways. He also gained from the college’s small size and relationships within the community.

“I truly benefited from the small staff-to-student ratio,” he says. “MMC also has a great connection with Yankton. Having a college town in a small town enables professors to establish relationships with various agencies and businesses to provide students with beneficial internships and service-learning opportunities.”

As Jesse continues to grow personally and professionally with Pathways, he says he and his wife, Amy, are thrilled to call Yankton home and continue serving the community. In addition to the Yankton Morning Optimist Club, he has served on the boards of Keep Yankton Beautiful, Sack Pack, Parents As Teachers, Spark and LINC.

“Yankton has provided me with an abundance of opportunities to better myself,” he says, “so I want to return the favor.”