Each year, Cumberland County Schools names a graduating senior at each high school as a Standout Senior. The 17 2023 Standout Seniors are bright, hard-working students who have overcome the odds to graduate and dedicate themselves to serving their community.
To learn more about their plans to attend college, serve in the military or begin their careers, go to www.ccs.k12.nc.us/graduation.
Loreta Quarmine will graduate from Jack Britt High School. She answered these questions about her education and her future.
I am proud of my Girl Scout Gold Award called Literacy for All. It was a big-scale project I started from the ground up and continued even through the pandemic. I honed my leadership skills working with volunteers I partnered with in Ghana. Through this experience, I learned the importance of flexibility and creativity when the pandemic was at its peak. I put a lot of time and effort into it, and I’m really proud of the outcome.
I will be attending Princeton University this fall to study public policy in the School of Public and International Affairs with a minor in journalism.
I have recorded about 400 volunteer hours so far, but that doesn’t count the volunteer work I’ve done with Girl Scouts since the third grade.
I’ve received various scholarships from the individual schools I applied to. The big outside scholarship I received was the Questbridge National College Match scholarship, which is a free ride to the college that I was matched with. Since Princeton University matched with me, the scholarship is worth $334,960. If I include the scholarships from colleges I had to deny, I’ve gained $626,760 in scholarship dollars, so far.
In school, I participate in varsity basketball and volleyball, the National Honor Society, the Student Government Association, the Academy of Scholars, and the National Technical Honor Society. During the summer, I work as a counselor in training at various Fayetteville-Cumberland recreation centers for summer camps. In Girl Scouts, I am currently a National Girl Advisory Board member for Girl Scouts of USA. But in the past, I’;e been a girl board member for Girl Scouts North Carolina Coastal Pines board of directors; National Girl Scouts delegate for G.I.R.L 2020 and National Council Session; Girl Scouts NC Adult Volunteer Recognitions Committee, host of “Girl Talk Tuesday Live” interviews on my council’s Facebook page; and a Media Girlz member for my council. My favorite extracurricular so far is working on the Girl Scouts of USA National Girl Advisory Board. I get to work with amazing scouts from around the country in order to make a difference in an organization that has meant so much to us. One of my favorite things we did was assist with global programming and representation at the United Nations.
“If you can’t fly, then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” — Martin Luther King Jr. Whenever I’m in a tough situation, I think of this quote to remind myself that I have to keep pushing. I know that as I get older, there will continue to be hardships in life, so this embodies the attitude I plan to have as I go on to college and in adult life.
Cumberland County Schools has provided me with both opportunities and activities that engaged me and taught me about myself and my interests while also providing a support system that encouraged and guided me. That foundation they created has taught me various life skills/lessons that make me feel prepared for my future. For example, learning not to be afraid to ask for help when I need it. Even if I stumble in the future, I know that I can always ask for help and pick myself back up.
The phrase “It takes a village” is true. There have been lots of staff in the school system that have made an impact on my life and brought me to where I am today. They include my AIG counselor, Mrs. Coleman; my basketball coach, Coach McArthur; and my teachers, Mrs. Richardson and Mrs. Huff. They are some of the many staff who have taught me the lessons of compassion, drive, flexibility, and leadership — lessons I plan to take with me after I graduate.
During the first half of elementary school, I attended Lincoln Community School in Ghana. During my second half (third grade and beyond), I attended Gray’s Creek Elementary School in Hope Mills.