Meet our iPad winner: Murryn!

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Meet Murryn Payne—she’s 16, a high-flying tenth grader at Andrews Aviation Academy and the winner of our iPad sweepstakes. (Lucky girl!) We sat down with her to learn more about this Like a Boss girl and what makes her tick. What we learned: she’s a self-published author, classic movie buff, real-life “CSI” investigator and all-around awesome girl.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests/passions? 

Murryn: My hobbies involve writing books, watching “classic” movies and acting. My interests range from performing in movies to learning French to criminal psychiatry. Currently, my biggest interest is working in criminal psych, especially after I was offered a scholarship to work with the National CSI team!

Q: What is the most important thing we should know about you? 

Murryn: The most important thing to know about me would be my openness to learn. I’m always eager to find new subjects to learn about or research ones I’ve done before. It ranges from the Titanic to the changes in artworks from Ancient Greece to the Renaissance. I absolutely love history—learning about that and how it influences us is perhaps my favorite school subject. But really any sort of learning is fun for me, even if it’s something dry like math.

Q: How would you define a “heart of gold?” 

Murryn: I would define a “heart of gold” as someone who cares about something in particular and is willing to learn more about it and be able to move with that. A heart of gold doesn’t mean someone who is super-smart or going to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize one day A heart of gold is someone, young or old, female or male, gay or straight who believes in something and uses that belief to make things better. A person with a heart of gold is passionate, caring and strong in their viewpoints.

Q: What is the issue/cause you are most passionate about? 

Murryn: I’m involved in a lot of causes, but the one that has my main attention would have to be Arts Awareness. It doesn’t get as much attention, but it’s still pretty important to have in the community. I feel that if you cut the areas of creativity, it reduces the amount of light in the world. You shouldn’t have to be a brilliant mathematician or chemist to be successful in school. Plenty of the most influential people in the world were artists, actors or writers. Imagine the world without the elegance of Chopin’s piano, or without the artwork of people like Picasso or Salvador Dali, or even the dance work of Martha Graham and Isadora Duncan. It wouldn’t be as open or beautiful.

Q: What is the accomplishment you are most proud of during your teen years?

Murryn: There are two accomplishments that I’m really proud of in my teen years. The first accomplishment I’m most proud of would be when I entered the Johnson and Johnson & You partnership contest two summers ago. It asked what your favorite causes were and how we could help with that cause.  Prizes were awarded every two weeks over the summer. I won a $50 certificate to donate to my favorite charities. I gave $25 to the World Wildlife Fund and the other $25 to the H2O Project.

The second accomplishment that was very meaningful to me was when I finished writing and self-published my first novel Sparrow’s Migration, which tells the story of a girl and her friends who have special abilities. They get offered a chance to go a special school, and, when they accept, they realize the world can be a bigger place (or really just as small as they thought). After a year and a half of writing and editing, I was able to self-publish it just after Christmas of 2011. I was even able to put it up on Amazon for purchasing!

Q: What your hopes and dreams for the future?

Murryn: My hopes and dreams for the future are to raise enough money to start my own charity for the Arts and to be able to write books that people would love to read. I adore telling stories and performing, so I’d love to start a a charity film/performance group that allows other people to participate in those things, especially if they don’t have a chance otherwise.



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