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Bailey Taft Pi Upsilon - Long Island University

Director, Shore House

Delta Zeta Women's Membership Organization | Delta Zeta Sorority

Which of the Delta Zeta shared values resonates with you the most? Community

How did you discover your passion for what you do, and what opportunities have helped shape your career?

From a young age, I’ve always had a passion for giving back. In eighth grade, I did a sports equipment drive for underprivileged children in the area. It was intended as a one-time project, but it grew and grew, and I grew and ultimately passed it on to my sister to carry on when I went to college. During college, I found Delta Zeta and I loved doing community work with my sisters. I believe that because of Delta Zeta, I ignited my passion for giving back which lead me to my role at Shore House. I would volunteer on weekends and holidays. And then, that lead to where I am today, being the director of this nonprofit.

Who has been an invaluable mentor for your professional career? What did you learn from them?

Susan. Susan was my supervisor at Shore House when I began working here. From minute one, she taught me valuable lessons on how to be a good leader in the mental health sector. I wasn’t confident in myself that I would like working in the mental health field. Up until working at Shore House, I had been working in sports. And she proved me wrong . . . I love it! She taught me to see the good in people. She taught me how to gain confidence in representing the organization in the community. And since she has now moved on from my organization, I know I can still call her for advice at any time, and she will pick up my call.

What words of wisdom or advice do you live by?

”The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain” – Dolly Parton
This is something I remind myself of every day. Not every day is perfect in the non-profit and mental health world. Some days are harder than others when advocating for my clients. I will do whatever it takes to get my clients what they need and deserve.
Right now, Shore House is advocating for more Clubhouses in the state of New Jersey because of the value Clubhouses have (as proven by the worldwide movement). New Jersey doesn’t see the value in Clubhouses so we are beginning our ”road show” to get more funding to establish a Clubhouse in every county!

What is the most impactful book you have read, or podcast you have listened to, that relates to you professionally? What made it so impactful?

“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
From a young age my parents read me ”The Giving Tree.” I never really fully understood what the story was until I was older. In college, a class lead me to revisit the message in ”The Giving Tree.” It teaches individuals to not be selfish and be more grateful for what we do have. It also teaches us the effects of taking and not giving in return.

How do you make sure you stay connected with your professional network?

I am a proud member of Impact100 Jersey Coast where I am connected to likeminded women who like to make an impact and give back to the community.
In addition, I am a part of a Professional Advisory Council for Monmouth County Behavioral Health where I have the opportunity to work with other social workers and caseworkers to improve lives of those living with a mental illness.
And most importantly, I am connected to other Delta Zeta sisters in New Jersey where I can share my passion for giving back to individuals in the community.

How have friendships helped you professionally? Is there a friend (or Delta Zeta sister) that has been behind you every step of the way on your career journey?

My friends encourage me through every obstacle I face. I know my friends are there for me to cheer me up and that I can call them when I just want to vent. They are my sounding board for when I am frustrated. They are there to celebrate my successes with me.
My sorority sister (and big!), Nicole, has been a huge supporter of mine. She was the one who showed me the ropes in joining a sorority. She checks in with me all the time, and I know I can talk to her whenever I need to. She’s the best!!

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?

Take walks with my mom and dog, Sawyer!