15, Freshman at Trinity Presbyterian School, Montgomery, Alabama
National Honor Society
National Youth Leadership Council
Eagle Scout with Gold Palm
J has been an Eagle Scout for less than two years and has already had a lot of success. He has earned over 31 badges for learning various skills such as medicine, archery and fishing. He was inducted into the Order of the Arrow, a scouting honor society and has acquired a Gold Palm, which signifies an advancement pass into the leadership program and an acknowledgement of the 10 merit badges he’s acquired. J is also a Certified Angler, highlighting his fishing skills and qualifying him to guide others in fishing. J says his favorite badge is for fly-fishing, an activity he learned from his dad when he was 4 years old.
At Trinity Presbyterian School, J leads in academics and athletics. He’s a member of the National Honor Society and Latin Club. He’s played football since 5th grade and serves as Trinity’s wide receiver. He also participates on Trinity’s golf team, a new-found interest that has grown to be his favorite over the past three years.
Coinciding with J’s love for athletics is his love of science. He placed 3rd in his school’s forensics competition and plans to follow after his granddad’s footsteps by becoming a surgeon. J said, “I want to be a trauma surgeon for the Navy and hopefully, serve on an aircraft carrier.”
J’s mom Jenni remembers when his 8th grade class went on a trip to Washington D.C. “Ever since he saw the Naval Academy, he’s made it his goal to go there, and I have no doubt he can do it—unless he changes his mind.”
PG (Parental Guidance) Rating
J is proud of the closeness he shares with his immediate and extended family. He says he was inspired by his grandfather to become an Eagle Scout and never quit.
J’s parents John and Jenni Payne mostly admire that he is self-driven. “We have never had to make him do his homework. He knows what he’s got to do and makes time to do it,” said Jenni.
John and Jenni take very little credit for the person J is becoming; “He’s God’s child, and we feel lucky to get to borrow him while he’s on this earth. I think he knows he can do anything he wants.”
“I have tried to pass on to my boys the three basics my father taught me. 1) Believe in God. 2) Work hard. And 3) Never quit,” said John. The Paynes also stress the importance of building a good relationship with their children, advising other parents to spend as much time with their children as they can.