Your Neighbor: Meet Jaeger Bailey

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 27, 2023

By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier

Jaeger Bailey was born in Buffalo, New York, and spent most of his childhood there too. The oldest of five children, Bailey enjoyed being active as a youth and art. Whether he was playing hockey, swimming or participating in track, Bailey liked fitness coupled with being on a team. If Bailey was not doing something active, he frequently tapped into his artistic side. A self-taught musician, Bailey plays the guitar, piano, drums, saxophone and is now learning the bass. “I have had people offer advice, but the majority of it I learned on my own from reading books,” Bailey said. “I was in a band during high school and then through college. I also like doing vocals.”

When it came time to decide what to do for college, Bailey opted to join the United States Army Reserve before attending college. “I was in for eight years and was promoted to sergeant before I decided it was time for me to get my undergraduate degree. My family had moved to Connecticut when I was in the eighth grade. I looked at schools in that state and opted for Southern Connecticut State University,” Bailey said.

Bailey knew when he entered college that he wanted to earn a degree that would allow him to be an athletic trainer. “When I was in the Army, I had a lot of shoulder injuries, likely from all of the push-ups. We had an athletic trainer on site help me with my injury. I thought it was so cool that there was such a resource, and I wanted to do the same for others,” Bailey said. “I worked the entire time I was in college as well, so I was always very busy. It also taught me the value of time management.”

Bailey also had to do clinical rotations while he was earning his degree. “I was able to shadow a lot of people that helped teach me how to do my job. It was great real-world experience, and furthered my interest in sports medicine,” Bailey said. In addition, Bailey had the opportunity to work with the football and men’s soccer teams while in college in the Eastern Athletic Trainer’s Association Student Delegation. Working to assist the chair of the program and president-elect gave Bailey another side to program management.

“Once I graduated, I wanted to get a job down south where I earned my certifications. A friend of mine had come to North Carolina, and so decided to try something new and moved. I’ve never shied away from new challenges. Everyone in my family stayed in Connecticut, and I wanted to try something different and took a chance. I was hired part time initially at Summit School to help with the athletic training program in 2018. That position has since evolved, and I am full time now as their athletic trainer. What I have loved most about that position is helping people. Some people go to work, make a product, and don’t feel like they are connected to what they do. I get to see the kids appreciate it, and that is very rewarding to me. There is a strong sense of community there. Especially being so far away from my family, that’s nice to have,” Bailey said.

In the tail end of spring sports, Bailey doesn’t get much down time. However, when he does, he enjoys recording his music or painting. “I’m pretty picky about what I keep with my recordings, so I have been trying to update it. I also like to paint, primarily acrylic landscapes,” Bailey said.

Whether exploring his talents or new communities, Bailey appreciates the community connection. “I can’t believe I’ve already been here five years. I love that I get to do something I am so passionate about and it has been appreciated,” Bailey said.