Meet Arianna Herring
“Strong Voice, Stronger Resolve, Limitless Potential”
Cumberland International Early College (CIECHS) senior Arianna Herring is someone you may not want to challenge to a battle of wits. This incredible young woman is a two-time national qualifier in Speech and Debate and a National Champion in Original Oratory, placing 4th overall at the 2021 National Catholic Forensics League Championship.
In addition to being the CIECHS Speech and Debate team captain, Arianna is the Student Body President and an active member of the Student Government Association. Outside of her school appointments, she was elected as a member of the Student Voices Committee by North Carolina State Superintendent Mark Johnson and has served as a Student Representative for the Cumberland County Board of Education.
“I love school simply because I really love learning,” Arianna noted. In addition to the organizations already mentioned, she fostered her love of learning by participating in the Key Club, National Honors Society, and National Spanish Honors Society.
Arianna also manages a full 21-credit course load at Fayetteville State University while working 30 hours a week at Chick-fil-A. She has also accrued over 250 volunteer hours. Despite her extensive extracurricular activities, advanced academic load, and work, she has maintained a very high GPA (grade point average) and currently has a weighted GPA of 4.6216.
“GRIT and hardworking,” CIECHS English teacher Shannon Jarman said are the words she associates with Arianna.
Arianna has overcome considerable difficulties. When faced with hardships, she made the choice to use the resources available to keep herself on the right path.
“Mrs. Mia Watson, my guidance counselor, has taught me the importance of self-care and creating a world of peace for myself,” said Arianna. “She taught me how to set healthy boundaries, eliminate self-doubt, and create long-lasting relationships with friends and family.”
Mrs. Watson’s guidance helped to teach Arianna the importance of keeping a healthy mind in order to lead a successful life. She chose to focus her energy in class and at home on how to be a better person for herself instead of for others.
“It’s about finding a balance,” Arianna advised. “For me, it was managing stress and realizing that my stress was coming from my own expectations. Rather than worrying about how much you do or how you do it, it’s about whether or not it satisfies you and makes you content.”
Arianna’s dedication to her passions has proven to be a valuable investment. After graduation, she intends to go to college—and she definitely has options. She has earned a full-ride scholarship to Fayetteville State University, a merit scholarship of $98,000 from Campbell University, and a merit scholarship of $118,000 from Methodist University.
“I believe Cumberland County Schools has prepared me for my future by challenging me to strive for the best,” noted Arianna. “It offered extracurriculars that helped me explore my strengths and talents and gave me opportunities to participate outside of school in a professional setting where I could learn and grow as an individual.”
While Arianna has been involved in many organizations and activities, her favorite is clear: “Speech and Debate changes lives. It changed my life. It is a safe haven where everyone can use their own words to express themselves. It motivated me to find not only my voice but myself.”
To future students, Arianna said, “Never give up on what your goals are. Focus on you and not others, and you will succeed.”