Upon arriving in North Carolina from Detroit, Michigan as a high school freshman, Payton attended Jay M. Robinson High School in Concord, NC and quickly got adjusted to her new surroundings by participating in both theater and student government. As she saw the minority population increase from 5% to close to 15% during her 4 years, Payton presented and produced the school’s 1st ever Black History Program during her senior year.
Upon graduation, Payton received a full academic scholarship to Catawba College in Salisbury, NC, where she went on to become the Freshman and Sophomore class president, Ms. Catawba and the first African American Female President over both the Student Body and the National Society of Leadership and Success in the past 10 years. After starting a mentoring program for young ladies on her campus to focus on pursuing unity and rebuilding sisterhood empowerment, she began to understand where her faith and desire to serve others were leading her.
After graduating with a dual degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science, Payton answered God’s calling and applied for the Peace Corps. Since being chosen from thousands of applicants across the country, Payton is the only African American female volunteer from North Carolina to serve as an Environmental Promoter in Paraguay, South America. Payton has mastered two languages and is serving as both an Environmental Promoter and ESL Instructor to the thousands of citizens in her city. Upon completion of her 2-year assignment, Payton plans on returning to North Carolina to pursue a career in Ministry and Politics.