Love Our City: Krysten Bailey

You know what I love?  Being surprised.   From the first day I met her, Krysten Bailey has consistently surprised me; her charm, her vulnerability, creativity and her contagious energy.  I caught up with her recently and was surprised, once again, by all that she does and dreams for this community.

Krysten spent last year as an ACT Six Program Assistant through Urban Leaders in Training (a mouthful, I know), which is how I met her.  Currently working on her Masters in Social Work at UWT, she also works as at A Place Called Hope and plans to intern with BRIDGES as a grief, loss and bereavement counselor.   In her words, ” I tried several different paths, but once I started my social work classes I felt like I belonged.  Everything made sense to me and I was challenging myself, learning how to self-reflect and using that in practice.  I decided early on that I wanted my career to be something I love to do and something that will make a difference.”  
Not only is Krysten an experienced intern, student, Krista Colleague and Avon representative she is also a beautiful spoken word poet.  It’s obvious she loves to share her passion and wants to inspire others through her works.  
As a social worker, I will be able to help people in a very real, concrete sense.  I will be able to see the results of my work in the lives of the people I work with.  And as a poet I help people in a different way; I get to speak to their hearts.    
But it’s relatively easy for this girl who grew up on the south side: “I have had so many wonderful role models in my life- my great grandparents, my younger brother and my fiance.  All these inspirations help me in how I do my work- remembering that these people helped me become who I am today. I hope to do the same for others.”
After catching up and gawking at her new engagement ring I asked about her other love: Tacoma.  And for the first time in our relationship I was not surprised.  She answered with the grace, wisdom and enthusiasm of a girl whose vocabulary does not include the words “too busy”; a girl whose passion for spoken word will inspire generations to come; a girl whose love for this city drives her to make real change in the lives of those she works with.  
When I think of Tacoma, I think of hope.  I see so much potential in youth I’ve encountered and their hope makes them strong.  They have the determination and passion to change themselves, to change others, and to change the city for the better. 
You can find Krysten’s spoken word poetry on her Youtube Channel here. 
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