Coral Gables High senior Jordan Payne has earned more than 700 volunteer hours. She’s working on earning more doing a Creative Action and Service project required by the International Baccalaureate program.
“It’s going to be a book drive. I’m donating to the Autistic Unit at Gables and also programs in Miami that serve autistic youth,” she said. “I’d like to donate 100 books per program.”
She is planning to collect books at her mom’s school. Her mom teaches at Coral Gables Preparatory Academy.
Payne is looking for books suitable for elementary school aged children.
“I’ve already started collecting books, because I recently moved,” she said.
Her mother also gave out flyers to parents in her classroom when her school had an open house. When she sees how many books she receives from her mom’s students, she’ll decide whether she also needs to collect at the high school.
In her fourth year at Gables, Payne has been freshman, sophomore and junior class president. Today she is president of the senior class.
She also is the sports editor of the school newspaper, after three years as a staff writer.
And she is president of Best Buddies for the second year, having been a member for four years.
“We meet as a club twice a month,” she said. “We’ll do off-campus events. The club is founded on one-toone friendships.”
She heard about Best Buddies before she joined because an older cousin was involved. But she fell in love with the club after meeting her buddy and all the other buddies. She has had the same buddy since her freshman year.
Now that she is a senior, she is working on her college applications. She wants to major in political science.
“I think there is a lot to be done,” she said. “I’ve had many conversations with adults who are mostly disappointed in the political system. I’m not sure yet whether I’m the right person to be an elected politician or someone who does policy or law.”
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld