An Interview With A Passionate Woman: Payton


I am constantly inspired and empowered by the strong women surrounding me in my life. I got the idea to feature them and show off their passions and dreams. I want to show how complex and unique each of us are in our own way.

Here is an interview with my Big, Payton.

Tell us a little about yourself: 

Hi, I’m Payton! I’m 19 years old and from Rancho Santa Margarita, California, but I was born in Boulder, Colorado. I love corgis, anything that is Disney-related, and art history. I am currently a second year in college. 


What are you studying in college?

I am studying Communication and Psychology and Brain Science! 


Why did you choose to study this? 

I chose to study these two disciplines because they go really well together and I am interested in how the mind functions. 


What is your dream job/position?

My dream position is to become an Animal Psychologist/Behaviorist. 


What is your goal in pursuing this? 

Starting my freshman year of college, I have been volunteering at the Santa Barbara Zoo as a Docent. During this time I got to directly meet and talk to their main Animal Psychologist, which made me start to research his position.


What makes you passionate about it? 

For the past few years, my mom and I have been traveling the world and have made it a mission to go to zoos in various locations; including London, Washington, D.C., Poland, etc. During this time, I have grown such a respect for a variety of species, which involves examining their behavior and mental health over time. 


What do you see your future looking like? Job, family, life?

In the future, I am planning on living in Europe (preferably London) with my (hopeful) husband, who is also passionate about his job. I would love to get two corgis (a boy and a girl) and later on have children. I want to travel the world and go to art museums that I have not been to. 


Are you doing anything currently towards these dreams? 

I work in the Santa Barbara Zoo giving information on the Masai Giraffes on the weekends, which has been an amazing way to get involved. This past winter, I became a research assistant in the Richard Mayer neuroscience lab helping to run experiments, giving me prep for graduate school. This summer, if COVID-19 weakens, I am hoping to volunteer at the zoo by my house or in an aquarium. 


What is your dream life? If you could have anything in the world and have all your dreams come true with no problems, what would your life look like? 

I would love to travel the world for an entire year, going to Europe, South America, and Asia. After this adventure, I think it would be awesome to work at NASA. I love learning about the solar system and have grown up watching the Perseid meteor showers every August with my mom. However, I have come to realize that this remains just a passion of mine, but Psychology and Communication are where I thrive. However, I will still continue to use my telescope, watch meteor showers, and visit the NASA headquarters.


Why don’t you pursue this dream life? 

I still have an opportunity to travel, maybe not as long as I would prefer, but I know it will be a goal of mine to hit some places on my bucket list. In relation to NASA, I wish I was that smart (haha)! But, knowing that I have other opportunities that mean a lot to me is what makes me happy in life. 


Are you happy with what you are pursuing though?

I am extremely honored to be able to pursue my studies with support from my family, friends, and professors. Even though I am unsure of what the future holds, knowing that I have this enduring love makes me appreciative and motivated to make my goals happen.


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