Internships at Boys and Girls Club helped guide graduate to next step in career

Roux, football team captain, plans to get master’s from UW-Stout in school counseling
Bailey Roux, captain of the Blue Devil football team, plans to become a school counselor.
​Jerry Poling | December 22, 2020

After earning his bachelor’s degree Dec. 19 from University of Wisconsin-Stout, Bailey Roux can look back on numerous highlights and proud moments that were packed into four years on campus.

He graduated with honors from the criminal justice and rehabilitation program, making the dean’s list six times, and he played three years and was a captain of the Blue Devil football team this season, which was canceled because of COVID-19.

Squeezed into those busy college days as a student athlete, Roux was doing something else that he’ll never forget. During the spring of 2019 and 2020, he interned at the Boys and Girls Club in Menomonie. There, he fell in love with helping young people.

He enjoyed it so much that in fall 2021 he will enroll in UW-Stout’s Master of Science program in school counseling.

Bailey Roux
Bailey Roux / UW-Stout

As part of his major, he took a counseling class “and absolutely loved doing it. I really want to be in a school setting and make a difference, so what better career than a counselor?

“I plan to use the skills I learned both in the classroom as well as my internships to make me a better school counselor,” said Roux, who is from Rice Lake. “I feel it really geared me to want to be in a school setting in the future.”

Roux believes he found his true calling working with youth.

"It is really easy to talk to someone your own age, but when you're talking to a child who ranges from eight to 12 years old, it is a big difference," Roux said. "You almost have to look from their point of view and explain what you're trying to convey to them in a way that gets them to understand.”

During his internships, 200 hours each spring, he enjoyed being a role model while developing educational and recreational activities for club members.  The club meets at River Heights Elementary in Menomonie and is part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley.

 

Bailey Roux prepares to snap the ball for the Blue Devils.
Bailey Roux, who played center for the Blue Devil football team, prepares to snap the ball. / UW-Stout

"It was an awesome experience to be able to come to the club everyday as a 'big football player' and be a positive role model for a lot of these children. It is amazing how kids look up to athletes and how it helps them learn things,” said Roux, who is 6-foot-1 and 300 pounds.

Roux played center for the Blue Devils, starting every game beginning in his first year. He made the all-conference second team twice and was one of 199 national semifinalists for the prestigious Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the best scholar athlete football players in the nation.

He was one of just three players from the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and one of just 40 from NCAA Division III to be named a semifinalist.

Clayt Birmingham
Clayt Birmingham / UW-Stout

“He is among the first to volunteer for the many opportunities to serve our community and campus. He understands the big picture of getting involved and helping others, all while carrying a good GPA,” said Clayt Birmingham, head football coach.

Roux, whose grade-point average is nearly 3.8, also has a chance to play professionally, drawing the attention of NFL scouts for the spring 2021 player draft.

Learning how to balance school and athletics was a challenge, Roux said, “but once I got the hang of it, it was easy. The coaches were very understanding and let me choose to pursue my academics first if there were any conflicts.”

Playing center, a position responsible not just for hiking the ball to the quarterback but calling out offensive signals at the line of scrimmage, was “stressful at times, but it helps you grow into a leadership role,” he said.

He has been working full time since summer, while finishing his degree, and plans to continue his job until next fall, when he begins the master’s program. He works in the warehouse at Serenity Health and Home Décor in Eau Claire.

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