Kim Payton was a force of nature when it came to speaking up for children and her community. She put in the hours, knocked on the doors, made the connections, and kept pushing for what’s right. She was like a superhero, standing up to make things better for everyone.
She was also a genuine and gracious person. It’s hard to comprehend that my friend passed away, but I will always remember her humor and warmth. Our relationship was woven together through the bonds of action and getting involved in something bigger than ourselves. We both wanted what’s best for our children and our communities. Working through Stand, we were able to accomplish so much together.
The photo accompanying this blog is one that I love. That’s Kim on the right in the bright pink top and me holding the sign. We were at a rally for fair school funding – another one of those events Kim never missed.
Kim joined the inaugural class of Stand Parent Fellows, taking her advocacy and connection to Stand to another level. She was a mentor to other parents, a friend to all, and a welcoming presence at each event she attended.
It’s because of that dedication and engagement that we are so proud today to announce the Kimberly Payton Parent Fellowship.
Kim is the only person we could possibly name our parent fellowship after. Her advocacy spanned years and her resolve to stand up for all children and communities knew no bounds.
This is a truly fitting way to honor Kim here at Stand. She will continue to serve as a role model for all parent members and fellows. Her example shines bright, and her personal motto, “each one, teach one, reach one,” is now imprinted into our work.
I miss my friend terribly. But as those pangs of grief come and go, I also feel a deep sense of gratitude for having had her in my life. I feel motivated to continue the work. I feel committed to making a difference.
I will honor Kim’s legacy. I hope you will, too, because the work begins again, in her honor.