Black History Month – The Wesleyan Way: Jaylin Bross ’25

KWC junior Jaylin Bross ’25 has the distinct honor of being the first active student to be featured by the KWC Alumni Association during our Black History Month: The Wesleyan Way features. Check out the story of this influential young leader!

Jaylin Bross arrived at Kentucky Wesleyan in the fall of 2021 from Louisville, Ky. Here he has found a home, a family and a purpose. He came here with one goal, to play football. But once he arrived, Jaylin quickly learned that at KWC, the opportunities for more are right in front of you. He made the choice to go for more.  

Jaylin was familiar with KWC because his father was an Owensboro resident, but he had never considered playing football for the Panthers. “Once I realized there is life after football, I found that Kentucky Wesleyan was a place where I could learn, grow and find out who I am,” shared Jaylin.  

Jaylin felt at home when he stepped onto the campus. While his house was two hours away, his new home was right where he was standing. Home means family, and Jaylin found family with the genuine, welcoming embrace of faculty, staff and coaches.  

Family goes above and beyond for their own, and Jaylin experienced that same level of care, compassion and commitment from his professors, including Dr. Emily Haire, KWC assistant professor of exercise science.  

“Jaylin is not just a model student; he is a model young adult,” shared Dr. Haire. “He is a natural leader that is kind and genuine. He has a cheerful disposition that is uplifting to those around him. You can tell that he truly cares about others and wants to make a difference. Jaylin is respected by his peers and gets along with everyone. He has faced obstacles head on and is not afraid of challenges. Jaylin’s future is bright; and I have no doubt he will continue do great things! He is leaving a legacy at KWC that should inspire all of us to face obstacles head on and work together to make KWC a supportive place for all students to succeed.” 

An athlete with a passion for mentoring others, after he earns his degree in fitness and sports management, Jaylin hopes to pursue a career in coaching and training the next generation of athletes physically, mentally and spiritually. 

“Jaylin is truly a one-of-a-kind human being,” shared Panther Football Head Coach Tyrone Young. “He has a heart that is full for serving the Lord and others. He is genuine and will do whatever he can to make sure that people are heard and feel safe. Jaylin is a true ambassador of our program as he truly stands for everything that our program is about when it comes to serving our brothers and others. To put it simply, Jaylin is a blessing to everyone that he comes into contact with.” 

One of Jaylin’s greatest accomplishments as a student has been opening a chapter of the NAACP on campus. When Jaylin started at KWC, he did not see many people of color around him and around campus, so he knew he needed to help make a change and was uniquely positioned to make that change happen. Jaylin’s stepmother is an active member and works for the NAACP, so he was able to lean on her knowledge to start the process of bringing a chapter to KWC. This connection led to multiple meetings with Owensboro NAACP Chapter President Rhondalyn Randolph. With the guidance of these two strong women, Jaylin established an NAACP chapter on campus that is focused on representation, connection and volunteerism. In the short life of the KWC chapter, Jaylin has represented KWC at the annual NAACP Convention and witnessed growth in activity within the chapter. 

Moving forward, Jaylin is leading the chapter and campus with an eye on history, educating others on the lesser-known facts of Black leaders and of the darker history of our area so we do not repeat the evils of the past. The chapter is also focused on fundraising to be able to offer the opportunity for other chapter members to attend the annual conference and pour their efforts into collaboration with the Owensboro chapter on city beautification projects.  

Jaylin is keenly aware of the legacy he is building, not only for himself, but for the entire campus. “We are here to speak to others and those who will come next,” shared Jaylin. “We’re also here to remind others that the choices we make direct our legacy.” 

With only 18 months until graduation, Jaylin is already thinking about life as an alumnus. He has witnessed first-hand the relationships alumni enjoy and the strong feelings of care and connection they share. He has built lifelong relationships at KWC, and he knows that after graduation, he will continue to be a part of change and growth at KWC. When he returns to campus for Homecoming, even 40 years from now, he will fondly reflect on his years as a student and his contributions on campus. 

 Written by Josh Baldwin ’05

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