First glance is not enough


First impressions are formed by brief interactions. What they say, what they wear, how they talk, how they walk. But first impressions are oftentimes not up to par with who the person actually is.

Initial glances are not enough with senior Bailey Vaughn. Bailey is the quintessential high school female: she is heavily involved in sports, has a vivacious personality and was crowned homecoming queen. If there was a movie that dealt with high school, Bailey would easily fit the main character’s persona. But despite the facade of having it all together, Bailey is an average high school student that shares similar hopes and struggles with everyone else.

“I think that people see, that they think, I have it together, just because I am committed,” Bailey said. “But I hope people see someone who is approachable, easy to talk to. I mean, I could talk to a brick wall. But I think people could see that I’m driven and something I’m working for and I hope they see that my heart is in the right place. And [I hope] that they see Jesus in me.”

After signing with University of Virginia to play division one softball, Bailey was crowned homecoming queen fifteen days later, Bailey professes humility and kindness.

“Oh my gosh! [When they announced me as homecoming queen] I was surprised, first of all,” Bailey said. “And I was kind of taken back because like I didn’t think I was going to win. I was just surprised and happy.”

With a 30% acceptance rate, Bailey saw softball recruitment as her golden opportunity to University of Virginia.

“University of Virginia is one of the number one public schools in the U.S.,” Bailey said. “And basically it has a lower acceptance rate than SMU … so I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get in there without softball. So I was like, ‘I gotta like jump on this opportunity.’ It’s a big deal.”

Part of Bailey’s character comes from her family. She has grown up in a large family, with two older siblings and a younger brother, Brady who has Down syndrome. In a large family who had to adjust with the challenges that comes with having a special needs member, Bailey relies on her dad.  

“My dad kind of always brings me back down to earth,” Bailey said. “He always keeps my head level and reminds me, ‘Bailey this might not be the best decision, you need to go back this way.’ Or if I’m a little too cocky one day he’ll kinda sit me down and say, ‘Hey look’ but then if I’m feeling down about myself he’ll pick me up. He just keeps me really level.”

For father Robert Vaughn, this mentoring is a natural part of parenting.

“I love her dearly,” Robert said. “She’s just so hard. She’s all over the place. You’ll be talking to her and she’ll go, ‘Squirrel’ and you’ll be like, “Bailey focus here” (snapping). But [I] love her to death.”

After graduating in June, Bailey plans to attend the University of Virginia to play softball and major in pre-med, with the aspiration to become a nurse. But Bailey also regrets not savoring the moment while in high school.

“I think that my biggest regret is not taking advantage of every opportunity in high school,” Bailey said. “There’s so many clubs and organizations and not doing your homework… Not taking advantage of every friendship that you could have… You see, ‘Oh that girl, I used to have a couple classes with her’ but I didn’t take advantage of that friendship because we never grew into the type of friends we could have been. High school just flew by.”