Trippet Scholarship Recipient BerThaddaeus Bailey shares how the award gave him not only financial assistance, but also confidence.
The transition to life as a college student at OU wasn’t always easy for sophomore BerThaddaeus Bailey. “The first couple weeks of freshman year were some of the hardest of my life,” he says. In his first semester, Bailey navigated his new environment and took on a challenging course load. After experiencing some setbacks, he wondered if the challenge he had taken on was too great. Defeated and discouraged, he began to think he couldn’t do it.
After being informed that he had received the Robert S. and Helen Grey Trippet Scholarship, Bailey faced these challenges with an assurance that he wasn't alone. “Receiving the scholarship really reaffirmed my confidence that I could make it, and that someone else believed in me,” says Bailey. “I was so humbled by the experience. It made me want to try harder. It was almost like an invisible force pushing me, reminding me that there are people out there who believed in me.”
Coming from a family with 12 children, Bailey did not know how he would pay for four years of school. The scholarship he received helped relieve that burden, and now he is able to focus on his educational pursuits instead of financial woes.
It is evident that Bailey is profoundly grateful for the scholarship he has received. He plans on giving back to the university because he “wants to be that same kind of positive influence on someone’s life."
Bailey has long had a passion to help those around him. Upon hearing of a fellow classmate’s hard times during a discussion of the economy and its effect on the average American during a high school history lesson, he organized a variety of fundraisers to help that local family afford life’s necessities. This experience inspired him to pursue studies in political science and economics, with the goal of a career in politics. He hopes to be an agent of change, to help “benefit the most people and to benefit people the most."
As a student at OU, he has become actively involved in a variety of leadership and political organizations, including the Black Students Association and Freshman Action Team. Bailey plans to get involved with other organizations during his time at OU, to continually expand his understanding of what goes into government and policy making.
Bailey’s dreams of impacting society and improving the lives of others remain alive today because of the generosity of a stranger. The silent vote of confidence that was communicated through receipt of a scholarship has inspired Bailey to continue to dream boldly and to serve and encourage those around him.
To learn more about supporting students like BerThaddaeus Bailey through scholarships, click here.