The African Dream

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Former Refugee From Uganda Who Grew Up In A Camp, Graduates As Valedictorian, Earns $240K In Scholarships

Julianne Lukambo, a high school student from Columbus, Ohio, who lived in a Ugandan refugee camp for a decade, graduates as valedictorian of her class with an impressive $240,000 in college scholarships.

Lukambo was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She was compelled to flee with her family to Uganda during her early childhood due to the country’s ongoing conflict. As a result, she spent most of her childhood in a refugee camp, while coping with the hardship and despair that comes with it.

Julianne Lukambo’s family relocated to the US in 2015 and she started high school in 2019. She began her education at Northland High School in Columbus, where she swiftly excelled in her studies, despite battling anxiety.

Today, Julianne concludes her senior year at the top of her class, receiving $240,000 in college scholarships. She also received acceptance from nearly a dozen universities. She credits her success to maintaining high grades and actively participating in several activities and networking.

She also thanked her network of supportive teachers who provided valuable recommendations for various scholarships.

Reflecting on her journey, Lukambo told WBNS-TV: “Coming from where I’m from, to here now, I would’ve never expected it. Overcoming all of that is something I’m really grateful for and proud of.”

Julianne’s achievements are one of many cases of success at her school. Northland High School’s senior class has collectively earned $5.6 million in scholarships, with Columbus City Schools seniors amassing more than $33 million in scholarship and aid money. Julianne ranks among the top 50 earners in the district.

“Overcoming the adversity that I have had to overcome to reach where I am today has been a real challenging journey, and I would say that from coming from where I’m from, to here now, I would’ve never expected it, so overcoming all of that is something I’m really grateful for and proud of,” she told 10TV.

Julianne is set to attend college at the University of Dayton, where she plans to pursue a degree in computer science.

Delvid Stanley-Coker

Delvid Stanley-Coker is a dedicated writer and editor for The African Dream. His passion and desire to publicize the appreciable department of Africa and voice out the prevalent ills of society have adequately contributed to the promulgation of stories of different sorts. Email: WhatsApp: +23276737886 Facebook: Delvid Stanley-Coker.

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