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Senior who spent ten years in refugee camps graduates at the top of her class and receives $240,000 in scholarships

A high school graduate from Ohio who spent many years of her youth as a refugee in Uganda has received over $250,000 in scholarships.

She has worked extremely hard all of these years with taking college classes, taking part, and getting the scholarships, which provides recognition that she did a lot, and the reward is what she gets, Juliane Lukambo said in a Columbus City Schools press release.

Lukambo spent ten years in Uganda after her family left the Democratic Republic of the Congo before receiving a $240,000 scholarship.

Because of the ongoing war, they had to flee to Uganda as refugees, so she spent the majority of her childhood there. Life in the refugee camps was not simple.

When the family relocated to the United States, the soon-to-be star student said that adjusting to a new nation was challenging.

One comes here [to the United States] not knowing what to anticipate, Lukambo said of her first day of school as a fifth-grader at Valley Forge Elementary School.

Nonetheless, she was driven to participate in as many things as she could throughout her middle and high school years.

According to the district, Lukambo dominated her competitors in everything she did, from STEM Club to soccer (she was also on the bowling team), earning great grades and outstanding internships along the way.

The kid also attended courses at area colleges while maintaining her workload at Northland High School.

Lukambo, who urges people to “get out of their comfort zones,” was awarded valedictorian of her graduating class and will now attend the University of Dayton to study computer science.

Beating the challenges that she endured in order to get to where she is currently has been an extremely difficult journey, she said, adding that it’s something she is very thankful for and proud of.

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