Shirley Payne

"Carver Community Organization was a staple in my life and an important part of my village.  My journey with Carver started when I was a small child enrolled in the daycare that resided on Walnut Street.  I became the most involved when I was a middle and high school student.  During those years, I was able to tutor younger children and peers in math and science.  Because of my love for science and technology, I was able to participate in the technology program.  This program challenged youth to explore and understand how computers operate by studying the computer’s internal and external components.  Together, we assembled an actual computer piece by piece.  I was also trained as a facilitator on the Smart Moves curriculum that focused on educating children on healthy behavior choices. When it was time to apply to colleges, I learned of the GROUPS Program at Indiana University supported by Carver.  The program was established in 1968 to address low college attendance rates among first-generation, low-income, and physically challenged students at Indiana University.  It provides students with information, support, and guidance to help them excel in the classroom and beyond from the moment they begin college until graduation.  My sister and I both participated in the program and are thankful for the support it provided.  I also received a scholarship at the 2002 Carver Annual Meeting and Luncheon.  Exposure to each of these programs was made possible through my involvement with Carver and it taught me that hard work does pay off.

The life lessons I learned at Carver have stayed with me throughout my life and motivate me with each new challenge I face.  Carver reinforced that just because my culture or economic status may be different, that does not equal me being deficient in any way.  I was taught that I can do anything that I put my mind to.  I was also reminded to never forget where I came from and those that helped me along the way.  Just because we go to college and obtain a degree, doesn’t mean we have the right to forget.  Once you have made it, be willing to be a positive role-model.  Carver truly lives out its mission to provide unique programs and services within a safe environment that teaches respect for self, others, and the community.  The totality of the programs, which span from infancy to seniors, allow it to be a shining light in the community.  I would like to thank Carver for maintaining its commitment to help youth of all ages to succeed, in particular, low-income and at-risk youth.  Carver’s vision to be the most influential organization changing lives of the total family by growing from the past and preparing for the future is evident in its longevity and work in the Evansville community.  Carver is undoubtedly making a difference in the lives of people of all ages and ensuring that future generations have the tools they need to succeed.  I for one will be forever grateful.”



Shirley I. Payne, MPH
Director, Children's Special Health Care Services Division
Indiana State Department of Health


Indiana University School of Public Health, Bloomington, IN
Doctor of Philosophy
Major:  Health Behavior
Minor:  Learning and Developmental Sciences (Human Development)
Anticipated Completion:  December 2018

Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Master of Public Health
Concentrations: Epidemiology and Behavioral Health Science
Completed:  August 2011

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts
Majors:  Biology and African-American and African Diaspora Studies (AAADS)
Minor:   Chemistry
Completed:  May 2007