In August 2014, seventeen-year-old Aaliyah Bailey was standing in the bedroom she shared with her older sister and grandmother for most of her life. This would be the last time the room would be considered “hers,” because after she left for college, it would be shared by her younger sister and grandmother. Aaliyah had no idea what her future would hold, but she knew that she would go to college and make the world a better place for herself, her family and her community.
Aaliyah Bailey grew up with eight people (sometimes more) in her three bedroom home on a small farm in Nashville, Illinois. Her father, Winston Sr., passed away when she was only ten, just eighteen days before her eleventh birthday, leaving Patricia Bailey a single mother of five. No one could show strength, dedication and resolve to Aaliyah better than her mother. Patricia first accepted a traveling position, then worked three jobs so that her children could have a quality life. During these years, Aaliyah stepped up to help care for younger siblings along with maintaining her grades and extracurricular activities in school, which awarded her scholarships to go to college.
Neither of Aaliyah’s parents received a secondary education. Winston Sr. had dropped out of high school and Patricia attended some classes, but was unable to finish her degree. As a first generation college student, Aaliyah was nervous about moving to Kentucky to attend Brescia University, but she thought it was her best chance at providing a better life for herself. During her freshman year, Aaliyah was involved in a variety of student activities and was the recipient of the New Student of the Year Award, an award given to one high-achieving, service-oriented new student.
Aaliyah went on to transfer to the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she continued to be a heavily-involved and high-achieving student. In 2017, she organized a trivia night fundraiser to donate to the Hurricane Maria Relief Fund through the Political Science Association and she worked on various projects to bring elected officials to campus through PSA and the Associated Black Collegians. In the fall of 2017, Aaliyah completed the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Service Leadership Program and graduated from the Advanced Leaders Program in the fall of 2018.
In January of 2018, Aaliyah had to put her mothers’ lessons of strength and resolve to the test: she was pregnant and determined to finish her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science. She completed a full load of classes in the spring, summer and fall, which included an internship with the League of Women Voters of Metro St. Louis, and continued to work as a caregiver (along with other various jobs). In December of 2018, Aaliyah walked across the graduation stage with her three-month-old daughter, A’miyah.
Aaliyah Bailey is intimately aware of the challenges residents of District 64 face: lack of access to quality and affordable health care and education, struggling to find a job with fair wages and benefits and trying to find internet access to complete school work and other basic tasks. Aaliyah believes that Missourians, especially young people trying to start their lives and families, do not deserve the bleak conditions they are currently offered. Aaliyah promises to work hard in Jefferson City so that the hard-working citizens in District 64 can enjoy happy, quality lives.
I'm running for MO State House Representative in District 64. The officials in Jefferson City are too far removed from the everyday citizens they serve. As a young mom and recent college grad, I am dedicated to moving Missouri towards a brighter future.