This is proof that life can be full of miracles.

According to WBNS-10TV in Columbus, OH, Juliane Lukambo, a local high school student at Northland High School, overcame a decade in refugee camps to now graduate at the top of her class.

A Cause For Celebration

“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,” said Lukambo in an official school news release. 

What’s more, she is also the recipient of more than $240,000 in scholarships and will be heading to the University of Dayton this upcoming fall to focus on computer science. Prior to all of this though, Lukambo spent 10 years in Uganda after her family escaped the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Where It All Started

“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 WBNS-10TV. 

It wasn’t long before Lukambo’s family made their way to the United States. Despite being a standout student who graduated high school with honors, she said it was still difficult adjusting to a new country.

“You come here [to the U.S.], and you don’t know what to expect,” Lukambo said as she reflected on her educational journey in America, which started during the fifth grade at Valley Forge Elementary School.

As the valedictorian of her graduating class, Lukambo had some advice for her classmates — “get out of your comfort zone.”

“Overcoming the adversity that I have had to overcome to reach where I am today has been a real challenging journey,” Lukambo told WBNS-10TV. “And I would say that 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.”

Lukambo continues to be very active with school academics and activities. She loves math, and in addition to STEM Club, she was on the soccer and bowling teams in high school. Now she is also an intern in the Smart Mobility Ambassador Program for the Ohio Department of Transportation.