Bailey Sullivan

June 09, 2022
Back to Blog

Pictured Above: Bailey Sullivan celebrates reaching the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro in February 2022.


TeenPact alumna, Bailey Sullivan, has been described as a high achiever by her family and friends. In March, she shared about her life–working in finance in New York City, the milestone of having Type I Diabetes (T1D) for 20 years, and her spiritual journey through both challenges. Her story provides encouragement and inspiration to press through tough situations, continually seeking and trusting the Lord to provide for all needs–physical, mental, and spiritual.


As the oldest of four children, Bailey’s experiences in TeenPact were more limited than her younger siblings, who all served as traveling interns. She staffed the Florida State Class twice but did not apply to travel staff due to high school sports commitments. Although her time in TeenPact was brief, Bailey shared that her experiences were extremely impactful and provided her with a sense of leadership and purpose. 


Bailey explained how she enjoyed the “refreshing higher standard” she found within TeenPact, as well as a “safe place to form relationships and have meaningful conversations, particularly on matters of faith.”

“TeenPact was a pivotal experience in helping me gain confidence as a leader and in my Christian walk.”


Following high school, Bailey attended Auburn University where she majored in Industrial & Systems Engineering with a double minor in Spanish and Finance. Bailey chose to study engineering due to the intellectual challenge it provided, and the opportunity to develop technical problem-solving skills. Although she enjoyed engineering, she realized her strengths and interests pointed more in the direction of finance. “I’d grown up listening to my dad and grandfather discuss the stock market and always found it intriguing,” she explained. 


After graduating with honors in 2019, Bailey started as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York City. In 2021, she transitioned to her current role as a private equity associate at The Carlyle Group. Many of her co-workers were and are currently young and driven to succeed in their careers, which Bailey says has provided a fun spirit of camaraderie across her teams. 


However, although Bailey’s work life has been highly successful, she initially found it challenging to balance the intensity and often long hours of her job with her personal and spiritual life, particularly as a Type 1 diabetic. After several months, she realized she was struggling to control her blood sugar, which was directly impacting her health and ability to perform at work. This was a pivotal experience whereby she realized she needed to make significant lifestyle changes if she were to continue her career path. As a result, she had honest conversations with her team and manager about balancing workload expectations and asking for help on projects where needed. Her team was extremely supportive and quickly helped Bailey find a solution where she was able to continue as a  top performer on the team without compromising her health. 


Bailey also began to prioritize her sleep and life choices outside of work which led her to become more consistent with running and to completely quit drinking alcohol. Although New York City’s drinking scene is prominent, Bailey has found new ways to relax as well as developed the confidence to go out with friends while remaining sober. She said this decision has been instrumental in helping her maintain her mental health while balancing the intensity of her job. 


Through her experiences in NYC, Bailey began to gain clarity about what is more important to her. The church she attends, Church of the City, continues to become a more important aspect of her life. She noted that, “This church is awesome! They make no concessions, saying ‘Christ is Lord.’” Bailey says that she finds it both easy and hard to be a Christian in NYC.

“People are open to talking about spiritual things so it provides many exciting witness opportunities; however, the idea of truth and religion is often viewed on a relative basis where individuals have the autonomy to define both however they please.”


Bailey created a major goal of 2022 – to observe her 20 years as a Type 1 diabetic through a series of endurance events. She chose five feats of physical endurance to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and to show both herself and the world at large what is possible for those with this disease. For her first challenge, Bailey climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in February, the world’s highest free-standing mountain at 19,341 feet elevation. “This ascent was extremely physically challenging,” Bailey relates. “The Lord provided step by step, even before the climb, with a new doctor and a new insulin pump. My blood sugar levels were amazing.”


At the summit, the incredible view was a reminder of just how powerful God is. Bailey also shares that the journey up the mountain was a “powerful metaphor for life–take it step by step.” For her other challenges, she will hike Mt. Rainier in August, compete in a trail marathon in September, hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim in October, and run the New York City Marathon in November. Bailey commented,


“Exercise, often in the form of running, continues to be one of my greatest teachers of life lessons. So often you reach a point in a hard run or workout where you want to quit but have to make the conscious decision to keep going, to take the next step. I have learned to apply that in other areas of my life, whether in my career while working on challenging projects, or in managing my diabetes.”


In addition to these endurance challenges, she currently serves on the Junior Executive Board for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a leadership role where she helps fundraise and encourage others with T1D. Bailey attributes the formation of her can-do attitude to her parents, Pete and Karlyn Sullivan, saying, “My parents taught me to never let diabetes, or anything for that matter, limit me. They took a no-nonsense approach to living an active and exciting life while still responsibly managing this disease (and other challenges that life presents).”


Bailey concludes, “TeenPact was a confidence-builder that prepared me for leadership positions in college and in my career field. Overall, the standards of excellence that TeenPact teaches, both professionally and spiritually, have been a great instrument of growth for both me and my family.”