National Merit Scholar also part of FFA, theater, science fairs

Bailey Brashears poses by the fireplace in her home in Frenship.

Bailey Brashears shows lambs, has won a national championship in FFA Agri-Science Fair for three years in a row and is now a National Merit Scholarship finalist.

But like many seniors, she’s still a bit uncertain about the future.

“I think I’m doing pretty well. It is getting to the point where I just want to get out of here,” Bailey said. “It feels kind of strange that I’m going to be done, and that’s going to be it.”

She got an acceptance letter to Rice University in December.

“It was really exciting for me, because I really wasn’t sure if I’d get in, to be honest,” Bailey said.

She said she pushes herself by getting involved in activities that are unusual for a self-professed shy person.

Being involved in FFA and agri-science fairs involves a lot of speeches. As a junior at Frenship High School, Bailey took a theater class and has been in a couple of productions with the Hub City Performing Arts.

“A lot of it is, whether I’m doing theater or doing a speech, I feel a lot more comfortable if I can get into that,” Bailey said, describing a feeling of being “outside of” herself when giving speeches or performing. These sorts of performances give her more self confidence, she said.

Bailey has also been showing lambs since she first became eligible to do so, at around 8 years old.

“This is the last year that I am eligible,” Bailey said. “I’ve always really enjoyed it.”

The Frenship senior said she feels she has grown up with the people in FFA and knows she will miss showing animals.

As a student at Rice, Bailey said she hopes to study psychology or cognitive science.

Because she knew she should find out this month, Bailey dropped by the guidance counselors’ office to find out if they had heard whether she had been named a National Merit Scholar finalist.

“When I found out, I wasn’t really expecting it. I had gone in to ask the counselor if she’d heard anything. She just kind of nodded,” Bailey said, adding it took a minute for the counselor’s nod to sink in. “I was so happy.”

Bailey said she is hoping that being a finalist will help her to obtain scholarships.

“Rice really isn’t a cheap school,” she said.

Bailey is the daughter of Todd and Mindy Brashears.

“We’re proud of her for being a National Merit Scholar, but we’re really proud of her for who she’s grown up to be,” Mindy Brashears said, adding that her daughter is very caring about others.

“It’s really just a reflection of who she is,” Todd Brashears said of his daughter’s Merit Scholar status.

But he also gives credit to Frenship schools. The schools gave her opportunities to succeed and a lot of programs that other schools don’t have, he said.

Bailey’s father said she took Latin over their objections, but it ended up helping her with the PSAT tests, which qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship program.

You must be logged in to post a comment.