- Woodward Park Middle School
Northland Senior Graduates with Over $240,000 Worth of Scholarships
May 30, 2023 -- Life as a refugee was the norm for Juliane Lukambo. In fact, the Congolese has been a refugee for as long as she can remember.
After spending the first ten years of her life playing board games in the mountainous country of Uganda, the Lukambo family relocated yet again.
“You come here [to the U.S.], and you don’t know what to expect,” said Lukambo, reflecting on her then-immediate enrollment in fifth grade at Valley Forge Elementary School. “The culture [here] is very different.”
Moving into Woodward Park Middle School, the culture shock Lukambo experienced continued to impact her. “It was hard in the beginning just getting used to the language and the students,” she said. “You are just thrown out there, and you have to learn to adjust to that all by yourself.”
Now, the senior at Northland High School wraps up her career in Columbus City Schools as the valedictorian of the prestigious school, with a list of accomplishments behind her.
“If you’re going to be a [Northland] Viking, you have to adapt to different situations,” she said. “Different situations are going to get thrown at you, and you need to be able to put that to charge.”
Academically, Lukambo excels in math. In fact, it’s her favorite subject. Why? She would tell you it’s because “you can always approach the problem from different ways and directions,” she said. “You often come to the same conclusion, the same answer.”
In addition, Lukambo has spent the past two years splitting her time between taking classes at Northland, Columbus State, and Otterbein University. “I got a headstart on what the college experience is,” she said.
While attending three different schools for her education, Lukambo is also an intern for the Ohio Department of Transportation in their Smart Mobility Ambassador Program.
Lukambo applies what she learns in STEM Club to the outreach she does as an intern creating activities for younger students and providing them with STEM opportunities.
“Internships are definitely something you should try,” said Lukambo. “Internships can teach you what you don’t like [in a job], and you can learn something valuable from that.”
Outside of STEM Club, Lukambo is a scholar-athlete competing on the soccer and bowling teams. In the fall, she serves on the Link Crew team as an orientation leader for the incoming freshman class.
“Get out of your comfort zone,” she said. “I think that’s the only way you’re going to progress forward… so definitely get involved.”
Altogether, her success in the classroom, her involvement in school activities, and her internship paved the way for her next step in life; college.
As a whole, the 2023 graduating class at Northland has received over $5 million in scholarships.
Lukambo alone makes up over $240,000.00 of the scholarship funds. Her awards include scholarships from:
- Achieving Standards of Excellence Foundation ($1,000)
- Helen Jenkins Davis Scholarship ($3,000)
- Stir Scholarship ($3,000)
- National Coalition of Black Women, Inc. Central Ohio Chapter. Trailblazer Scholarship ($3,000)
- I Know I Can Founders’ Scholarship ($10,000)
- Conference of Minority Transportation Officials Columbus Scholarships ($1,000)
- Chuck Deyo Scholar-Athlete Scholarship ($3,000)
- The Flyer Promise Scholarship - the University of Dayton
“It’s definitely going to be really impactful in my future because it’s helping me with my dream of going to college,” said Lukambo.
Following her graduation from Northland, Lukambo will be attending the University of Dayton in the fall to pursue a degree in Computer Science.
“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.
Graduating at the top of her competitive class with the highest grade point average is the highlight of her career at the school.
“I think that kind of wraps everything together that I have been doing and working on. It brings it all to a close,” said Lukambo.