facebook pixel
skip to main content

Ouachita Stories


From the "Ouachitonian": Jomari Bailey

Jomari BaileyMay 17, 2021 - Emily Barton

Previously published in the 2020 Ouachitonian yearbook

Serving his school, multicultural students and his country, Jomari Bailey has dedicated his time at Ouachita to working hard to make a difference. A freshman art and graphic design major from Prescott, Ark., Bailey was once known as the shy kid but has flourished through his first year in college.

“Being at Ouachita, joining the ROTC program, and getting to know the members of MORE, I’ve come to lean out of my introvert ways,” said Bailey.

Reflecting back over all the wonderful experiences Bailey has made in Ouachita's Multicultural Organization Reaching Equality (MORE) and the ROTC program, he realized how much they have supported him.

“I joined the ROTC program in hopes of continuing my education with the help of benefits the program provided, and to better myself as a soldier and future officer in the United States Army,” said Bailey. “The ROTC program has come to mean a lot to me; it challenged me in ways I didn’t deem possible and pushed me to become stronger both physically and mentally.”

He dedicates most of his time to ROTC through how he maintains his physicality. He also pushed himself in his studies. “I was the assistant to Cadet Hargrove who is our supply NCO. So, whenever there was a task he wasn’t able to issue out, I came in and helped ensure whatever it was got to who needed them,” said Bailey. “I loved getting to hike Pinnacle Mountain with my fellow cadets and Cadre members,” he added.

On campus, the first step in creating memories was taking the leap and connecting with new clubs to meet people. Bailey had no idea what a blessing being part of MORE would be.

“I loved the fact that MORE was an organization solely built on making multicultural students feel safe and welcomed where there may only be a few like us,” said Bailey.

Being active within these communities allowed Bailey to grow and connect with new people on campus.

“It’s allowed me to open up and be a part of conversations I usually wouldn’t put myself in. It’s allowed me to build friendships through physical activities, debates, and singing in Berry Chapel,” said Bailey.

Creating memories and milestones along the way, some of Bailey’s favorite memories include singing "The Star-Spangled Banner” for the Special Olympics, where Bailey surprised everyone, including himself, when he stepped up to the challenge of singing soprano.

College has not come without its pressures. Bailey, like many other students, strived for perfection. Growing through his experiences, he learned he couldn’t break himself trying to be prefect, and knew God loved him always.

“But being here at Ouachita, and getting to know others, has shown me that life itself isn’t perfect all the time, so why should I continue to beat myself up to be?” said Bailey. “With prayer and continuous meditation, I’ve been able to loosen up and become less hard on myself.”

Photo by Mallory Morris