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Standout Senior 2023: Maria Chao

Aspiring doctor has research paper on grocery store marketing published


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.

Maria Chao will graduate from Terry Sanford High School. She answered these questions about her education and her future.

  • What accomplishment are you most proud of or what do you want to be remembered for?

I am most proud of conducting research and eventually getting my research paper published. My manuscript, titled “The Impact of Grocery Stores’ Marketing Strategies on the Purchasing Decisions of Consumers,” was published in Volume 11, Issue 4 of the Journal of Student Research — High School Edition.

  • What are your plans after graduation?

I will be attending UNC-Chapel Hill and majoring in biology, placing me potentially on the premedical track.

  • How many volunteer hours have you accrued?

I have accrued 140 volunteer hours.

  • Please list your extracurricular activities and tell us about your favorite.

My favorite extracurricular activity is varsity women’s lacrosse. The environment is very inclusive and always a fun time with my teammates.

  • Do you have a self-statement or a favorite quote that best describes you and your aspirations for the future?

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.” — Michael Jordan

  • How do you feel the Cumberland County Schools has prepared you for your future?

I feel like CCS has given me opportunities like research and collaboration to help prepare me for college and the future ahead of me.

  • Is there someone on staff in the school system (a teacher, administrator, coach, etc.) who has made a lasting impression on you? What lesson did they teach you that you will always remember?

My lacrosse coach taught me to always have confidence in myself and play the best I can, no matter the outcome.

  • What elementary school did you attend?
  • I attended Vanstory Hills Elementary School in Fayetteville.

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