Jayden Payne: Aldine
Aldine senior Jayden Payne is a unique individual who has paved his own path through his various academic and athletic achievements.
Payne loves football before all other sports, but is actively involved in golf, basketball, track, and power lifting. He credits sports for giving him a drive and confidence to believe in himself. Though only starting golf last year, Jayden has already achieved first place in district and placed first or second in multiple UIL events.
He’s just as impressive academically where he’s earned a Future Medical Leaders Award of Excellence. Studying the medical field was only a hobby; his real passion is in the legal advocacy world. Jayden wishes to be an attorney when he graduates, wanting to make meaningful strides in people’s lives and help make meaningful strides in criminal justice reform.
As impressive as his academic and athletic pursuits are, it is Payne’s character that stands above all. Payne made national headlines in 2019 when he jumped rapid water to save a woman and her child from drowning in their vehicle. The only thing on Jayden’s mind? How could he help.
It is this same selflessness that rang through his voice when talking about wanting to do legal advocacy. It’s the reason that his actions of selflessness were noticed by Lina Hidalgo, Rodney Ellis, and the Houston Texans.
Joyce Monene: Sharpstown
Sharpstown senior Joyce Monene has always viewed sports as a platform to be used for growth. Though she finds herself involved in as many sports as possible, basketball and volleyball stand out the most to her.
Her favorite sport, without question, is basketball.
“I grew a lot from the game of basketball,” Joyce said. “My freshman year I used to overthink everything a lot. But basketball helped me slow things down and gain more confidence in myself.”
It’s through this growth that she now has the confidence that her capacity to accomplish is unlimited. The lessons she has learned along the way did not go without recognition, as her team made a playoff run and the senior has been awarded for her efforts in track.
Outside of sports, Joyce exhibits excellence both in the classroom and her drive for her future. Maintaining her place on the A/B honor roll, Joyce sees education as a path for her to make meaningful changes.
These changes and vision are where you can truly see the character of Joyce. Serving at a homeless shelter gave her a completely different outlook, one in now she wishes to pursue a future in humanitarian work.
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