Dion Payne-Miller

Senior Spotlight


Homecoming court 2020

Hannah Connell, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Dion Payne-Miller is a current senior at John Adams who is a leader at school and in the community. The young man is dedicated to being a force for good which he demonstrates in his many involvements at school. During his time at Adams, Dion has been involved in Brothers, a group that builds leadership skills, volunteers in the community, and prepares students for college. Dion was co-president of Brothers his junior year and he enjoys belonging to a club that motivates students to pursue their dreams and engage in the community. During our interview, Dion spoke highly of his opportunity to shadow the head coach of the boys’ basketball team, Coach Johnson. Dion watched the sports team interact and understood that good leaders build their teammates up rather than tearing them down. This experience allowed Dion to gain leadership qualities to apply to his own pursuits. 

Students who know Dion know that he is a competitive table tennis player. Dion currently competes at the intermediate level and is ranked second in the state among 18 and under players. Dion has played table tennis for the past five years and he is grateful that he can form connections with new people through the sport. Table tennis is a major part of Dion’s life and that the sport has helped him “develop discipline.”

Dion has many ambitions for the future. After graduation, Dion will pursue a degree in business and one day hopes to be an entrepreneur. Dion has already been accepted to Indiana University, Goshen College, and Holy Cross. He also was accepted to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia which include famous alumni such as civil rights leaders, Martin Luther King Jr. and Howard Thurman. To Dion, it is important to follow in the footsteps of these gentlemen to advocate for a more just and equitable society. Currently, Dion is a part of Faith in Indiana, an organization committed to racial and economic equality in Indiana. He intends to continue social activism and bridge the gap between the community and policy-makers. 

When I asked Dion to give advice to Adam’s underclassman he responded, “Work hard and keep the end goal in mind. In order to work hard, you have to have purpose.” Dion added, “What kind of life do [you] want to live? Are [you] willing to make sacrifices for your goals?” 

As seniors inch closer to graduation by the day and students face the challenges of second semester, Dion’s advice is especially important to remember. I asked Dion to describe himself with three words. He smiled and replied, “I am a strong-leader, compassionate, and relentless to progress.” Dion embodies these words through his actions and he has made an enduring impression on our school.