Kendra Payne was a dedicated student, athlete, and world traveler. On January 11, 2006, while on a UCSB triathlon team training ride climbing up Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara, she was struck by an asphalt truck and killed.
Kendra had an amazing energy and zest for life. She was a global citizen who lived on three continents and visited over 30 countries during her 21-years of life. During high school, Kendra was captain of both her swimming and track & field teams at the Singapore American School (SAS). She participated and was awarded medals annually at this event. In 2006, SAS designated this event as the Kendra Payne Memorial Biathlon, in her memory. Kendra’s parents attended this event in December 2010 and November 2011.
At UCSB she became a triathlete and raced in a marathon and numerous triathlons in the US and Australia. Participating in sports was her passion and it was her way of life. It shaped her character and values and gave her self confidence.
Kendra was a colorful individual whose strong athletic abilities were matched by her humility. She encouraged others to believe in themselves and inspired them to go after their heartfelt dreams and goals. Her tenacity and generous spirit continue to live on in all of those touched by her life.
At the time of her death, Kendra was exploring opportunities to devote her life to fostering the economic and educational development of women and children in developing countries. She intended to go into the Peace Corps in Africa after graduation. The memorial internships named in her honor give life to her dreams.
Kendra’s Favorite Quote
“Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.”
From Whence Kendra Came
Written by her friends the night of her death
Kendra Chiota Payne sprang from the very heart of the earth, molten lava for blood, with all its heat and passion rising out of the depths. In her compact frame she held the power to move continents, to move people, to keep life moving. And move she did. She moved from the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro to the depths of the South Pacific Ocean living out her Truth. Steeped in the rich colors of Rajasthan was her soul passionate yet peaceful, bold yet subtle, always balanced, always beautiful, always Kenny P. Always true to herself, when she was laughing she was laughing and when she was crying she was crying. Like the core she was raw, No layers … Iron, like a lion, in Zion. But in her heart there was always warm love. To say she was beautiful would be an understatement … she was stunning, electric, magnetic. She was able to grow up so tall because her roots were so deep. This treeʼs branches touched every corner of the earth, reached into all of us and planted a seed and because of that her life goes on … so that we too can live on. And live hard. Just like Kendra.