Former Refugee From Uganda Graduates as Valedictorian, Earns $240K in Scholarships

Julianne Lukambo, a high school student from Columbus, OH who was a refugee in Uganda, graduated as valedictorian of her class with an impressive $240,000 in college scholarships.

Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa, Lukambo and her family sought refuge in Uganda due to the ongoing war in their home country. She spent most of her childhood in the refugee camp, coping with the hardships and uncertainty of their situation.

Julianne’s family moved to the U.S. in 2015 and started high school in 2019. She attended Northland High School in Columbus, OH, where she quickly excelled in her studies despite battling anxiety.

Now, Julianne ended her senior year at the top of her class, receiving $240,000 in college scholarships. She attributed her success to maintaining high grades, actively participating in several activities, and networking. She also credited her supportive teachers, who provided valuable recommendations for various scholarships.

Julianne’s achievements are part of a broader trend within her school. Northland High School’s senior class has collectively earned $5.6 million in scholarships, with Columbus City Schools seniors amassing more $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.

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