Alumni Update: Grace Mayo

Virginia Wooten

This Alumni Update is on lifelong friend of mine and memorable student, Grace Mayo. Grace Mayo, born and raised in Tarboro, began attending Rocky Mount Academy in third grade. She graduated in 2013 from RMA and continued with an education at East Carolina University’s College of Business. She received a degree in Business Marketing and also a minor in Hospitality Management. Grace’s bubbly personality and kind heart has been prevalent from a young age, always being a beam of happiness for anyone that crosses her path. Her big heart and selflessness is displayed with every person she meets from faculty at Rocky Mount Academy, to kids she babysat when she was a teen. Growing up, she loved to travel and explore whether that be on her family farm outside of Tarboro, or participating on the bus trip Grand Western Tour before sophomore year. Her love of the world and curiosity carried on throughout college. After graduating from ECU, Grace dropped everything and traveled across Europe with her best friend, her mother, and for a little bit-alone. Sixth Grader Mary Ferrell Chaffin is a new student to RMA this year. Grace Mayo and her whole family are friends with Mary Ferrell and all the Chaffins. Mary Farrell says “Grace is really funny. She has taught me a lot. I love when she babysits me and my sisters because we watch movies and eat marshmallows. My favorite thing she has done for me is when she brought me chocolate from Italy!” Easy to say, everyone loves Grace big and small!


  1. What did you like about your class? My favorite part about my graduating class would be that everyone is so close. Even after everyone went in different directions for college, we can all pick right back up where we left off. I would consider them all lifetime friends.
  2. What is your favorite memory about RMA? My favorite memory from RMA would be all the senior year shenanigans and when Mr.Stancavish barged into Mrs.Ellen’s class to ask me why I didn’t like poptarts… to anyone that knows Mrs.Ellen, she was not happy about that.
  3. What did you like most about going to school at ECU? What I liked most about attending ECU was the campus culture. Professors and students were so friendly and wanted to see/help each other succeed.
  4. What degree did you graduate with? I graduated from ECU College of Business in May of 2017 with a degree in business marketing along with a minor in hospitality management.
  5. What are some of your hobbies? Some of my hobbies include running, exercising and socializing. I have just recently decided that I want to run a half marathon… so we’ll see how that goes. I’ll give a shout out to Mrs. Meadows for this hobby of mine. I would also consider socializing a hobby because I definitely get a thrill out of meeting new people and I’m one that will make friends anywhere.
  6. What sports were you involved in growing up? What was your favorite? Throughout my life I have participated in soccer and swimming. While in high school I participated in Soccer, swimming and cross country. I would say my favorite at the time would have been soccer because it was more of a team sport and I liked the social aspect of it. I even continued to play sports in college through intramural sports with my friends. I played soccer, flag football, bowling, volleyball and I even played basketball where I used the skills/basic knowledge I learned from Coach Colbert in middle school.
  7. Where is your favorite place you have ever traveled to? It’s hard to determine my favorite place to travel because everywhere has its advantages and disadvantages. I would say that the prettiest beaches I traveled to would be in Sardinia, Italy. The prettiest city would be Zurich, Switzerland. While the most fun would be Barcelona, Spain. Croatia also is one of my “favorites” because I thought the people were the nicest and the islands off of the mainland are beautiful! Another one of my favorite places would be Cannes, France because I made the best memories with two of my best college friends and Berlin, Germany because I learned the most about myself and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Okay… so I have a lot of favorites. I think it’s just because I love adventure and every place was a new adventure therefore the trip as a whole was my “favorite”.
  8. Can you tell me a little bit about your summer in Europe? After I graduated from ECU, I hopped on a plane to Europe with Darcy, one of my best friends from college. We traveled through a few places in France, and met up with more college friends traveling in London, and then traveled through Spain and Italy, indulging (or over indulging) in the delicious cuisine of each culture. In Italy, my friend had an allergic reaction to shellfish… note to everyone: always carry Benadryl when traveling. We then visited Darcy’s childhood friend in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her friend dances for the Royal Danish Ballet. So… we got a personal tour of the Royal Theater there. Fun fact: I ate ostrich while in Copenhagen, 10/10 would recommend.  After Copenhagen, my friend flew back to the USA and I continued to travel on my own. I traveled to Berlin all alone and had to find friends to keep me company. This was probably the scariest and most thrilling part of my entire trip to Europe. It forced me to do something that was slightly out of my comfort zone. After feeling extremely awkwardly while trying to find friends to explore with, I felt like I could accomplish anything. When my explorations in Berlin were over, I met my mother in Italy. With her, I completed my third trip through the Vatican museum. (Mrs. Patton would be pleased to know that I knew more about the paintings and artists than all the people I have explored the museum with.) Made it to Greece, Croatia and then to Switzerland. Throughout my trip, the most important things I learned are that you grow significantly when exploring the uncertain and that it is important to learn about cultures other than just your own. I cannot tell you how many people knew more about the culture and politics in the USA while I didn’t know anything about theirs. Most asked questions : 1. What do you think about Trump?… always changed the subject. 2. Why are you here?… because they think the USA is amazing and “why would you ever leave” (my answer: the USA is amazing but who doesn’t want to know what the rest of the world is like- still blown away that people asked me this) 3. Are you from the United State?… is it that obvious?
  9. In what ways did RMA prepare you for the “real world”? Although I did not realize it at the time. I would say the most important thing I learned from RMA was how to properly handle myself and communicate in a professional environment. It is always important in life to know how to communicate effectively with those of a “higher level” than you.
  10. What is something few people know about you? Few people know that I have started a business called America’s Socks.. still a work in progress, but it’s coming along.
  11. What do you think is your biggest accomplishment? My biggest accomplishment would have to be that I have always been sought out for employment without looking for it. All based on my reputation of being a hard worker, loyal and a friendly person.
  12. What is your favorite book or book series? What is your favorite TV show? I don’t know if I would say I have a favorite book, but the one I am reading right now is “Love in the Time of Cholera”. Also, I don’t watch much TV but I do love the TV show “Friends”.. it will probably always be my favorite.
  13. Who is someone who has inspired you? I would say the person that inspired me the most in life would be my grandmother (Mahoney). She showed me the importance of staying healthy in all aspects of life. To look at everything in a positive light and to never stop learning.
  14. What is something you missed about North Carolina while traveling? One of the things that I missed the most about North Carolina while traveling was most importantly my friends and family. I also missed the ranch dressing and being able to easily communicate with others.
  15. Who is your favorite kids you have ever babysat? 😉 Of course my favorite kids that I have ever babysat are the Wooten children. They have my heart forever <3