From Service to Community
Early Life and Love for Learning
Myra Payne was born in 1961 and raised on a farm in Smith County, Tennessee. From a young age, her parents, Tillman W. and Ruth J. Payne, instilled in her the value of political engagement. As a family, they actively campaigned for Albert Gore, Jr., setting an example for Myra to follow.
Myra’s educational journey began in a school specifically for Black students, where her mother worked as a teacher. This experience nurtured her love for learning and instilled in her a strong sense of community. She actively participated in a range of activities, including basketball, band, and choir, and even garnered recognition for her exceptional biscuit baking skills as a member of 4H.
Following her graduation from Gordonsville High School in 1979, she began her healthcare journey by volunteering for the Red Cross and later working as a nursing assistant at a local hospital. She continued her education and earned several degrees, including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Master of Nursing Science in Adult Health Nursing (MSN), a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.).
Career in Healthcare
Myra attended Volunteer State Community College before transferring to East Tennessee State University. During her time there, she not only pursued her studies but also joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps program and gained valuable experience as a nursing assistant at Johnson City Regional Medical Center. Later, she pursued her nursing education at Austin Peay State University, where she actively engaged in various organizations such as the Black Student Association and the Student Nurse Association, advocating for important social causes.
Military Service and Leadership
After earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 1984, Myra joined the Army Nurse Corps. She held multiple leadership positions, attended nursing schools, and received numerous awards. In 1994, she accomplished a significant milestone by completing her Master of Nursing Science in Adult Health Nursing (MSN) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees from University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.
Myra’s commitment to her country led her to Iraq in 2004, where she supervised nursing care for wounded soldiers. Her dedication was acknowledged, resulting in a well-deserved promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) before retiring honorably in 2007.
Advocacy and Social Engagement
Myra actively engages in organizations such as the United Way Committee on Diversity, where she advocates for workforce concerns and fights against institutional oppression. As a dedicated Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, she contributes to scholarships for graduating seniors and provides support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, displaying her commitment to educational opportunities and uplifting marginalized communities.
Vision for a Better Future as a Senatorial Candidate
Myra Payne represents the best interests of Virginia Senate District 19. Her extensive experience in healthcare, the military, and education provides her with valuable knowledge and a well-rounded perspective. Her demonstrated compassion for others is evident through her dedicated community service and involvement in various organizations.
Additionally, her exceptional dedication and nurturing qualities are exemplified by the success of her daughter, who has flourished into a highly accomplished Art Curator. With her unwavering dedication, Myra Payne is poised to make a genuine difference in the lives of her constituents within Virginia Senate District 19.