A senior who spent ten years in a refugee camp graduates at the top of her class in the United States and receives $240,000 in scholarships.

Juliane Lukambo, a standout student at Northland High School in Ohio, is headed to the University of Dayton in the fall

A high school graduate in Ohio, who spent many years of her 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥hood living as a refugee in Uganda, has earned nearly a quarter of a million dollars worth of scholarships.

“I’ve worked really hard all of these years with taking college classes, being involved, and getting the scholarships is showing recognition that I did a lot, and the reward is what I get,” Juliane Lukambo said in a news release from Columbus City Schools.Before becoming the recipient of $240,000 in scholarship funds, Lukambo spent 10 years in Uganda after her family fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo, per CBS affiliate WBNS.”Due to the ongoing war, we had to move to Uganda as refugees, so that’s where I spent most of my 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥hood,” she told the outlet. “Life in the refugee camps was not easy.”

When the family moved to the United States, the soon-to-be-standout student said that adapting to another new country was difficult.“You come here [to the U.S.], and you don’t know what to expect,” Lukambo told school district officials about starting school as a fifth-grader at Valley Forge Elementary School.Yet, she was motivated to get involved in as many activities as she could over her middle school and high school years.

From STEM Club to soccer, Lukambo bowled over her competition (she was also on the bowling team), getting high grades and impressive internships along the way, according to the district.The student also took classes at local colleges, all the while managing her workload at high-performing Northland High School.

For all of her efforts and success, Lukambo — who advises others to “get out of your comfort zone” — was named valedictorian of her graduating class, and now will head to the University of Dayton to study computer science.”Overcoming the adversity that I have had to overcome to reach where I am today has been a real challenging journey,” she told WBNS, adding that it’s “something I’m really grateful for and proud of.”



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