Payton Francis, from Parkland, FL, is 16 years old and a sophomore at American Heritage High School. Payton has been a competitive dancer for eight years and has danced since she was three years of age. She is involved in musical theatre and was part of her school’s production of Hairspray last year. Payton’s biggest passion is singing. She is a member of the Show Choir and Music Honors Society. In addition, she is involved in Thespians and as a freshman received a Superior rating on her vocal duet. Payton was recently chosen by the administration as an ambassador to represent her school and serve as a peer mentor. In addition she is a member of the National Honor Society and Student Government. She enjoys babysitting and volunteering as a counselor at a performing arts summer camp. Payton is a member of March for Our Lives and participated in her school’s walk out for gun violence awareness. She participated in Operation Respect’s song writing collaboration in Parkland, which produced the recently released album, Wake Up America , designed to help the students heal through music. Payton has traveled around the country with Operation Respect, sharing this music at high-profile educational conferences, summits and events throughout 2019. Through the performance of their own music, this group of young people have aided their own recovery and also focused the attention of young people and adults around the country on the importance of ending gun violence. Payton’s goal is to continue to use her musical ability to end gun violence and promote healing.