AGE: 18 / MONTVERDE ACADEMY / SENIOR / GPA: 4.14
My journey began in April 2011, after one of the most controversial presidential elections in my country; my family and I were forced to fight for survival for days. After we survived those days, my dad was worried for my safety – being the only girl and the last child in the family of eight. I had to leave school and my family had to move to a different state to stay with my uncle and his wife. I stayed there for three months, not really sure of whether I was going to go back home or not.
Then I got a call from my brother, who also is my best friend, and was already going to school at Montverde Academy. He told me that there is a chance there might be a spot for me there, too. Due to the ability of the school to provide me with a substantial financial aid packet, I got an opportunity not only to be alive again, but to live a life I could only dream of.
I want to be able to return back home (to Nigeria) and be a role model for other girls in my part of the country to strive for education, regardless of the prejudice. I hope also to provide them with a source of this education, a standard education that will be accessible for them, regardless of whether they can afford it or not.
My goals are to get a degree in Information Technology then put into practice the knowledge; to improve the networking and spread of information in the country; and to provide the right information to the people and give them access to the actual truth.
My role models are my host parents. They took my brother and me in and made us a part of a family unit that made me believe that “family is not blood, family is love.”
My favorite book is “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.
My extracurricular activities include varsity girls’ basketball, varsity girls’ volleyball, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Mu Theta Alpha (Mathematics National Honor Society), Tutoring Club and Key Club.
For fun, I enjoy watching TV shows like “Scandal,” “House of Cards” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” I enjoy reading and playing games and puzzles like Sudoku.
• Senior Class President, 2014-2015
• Junior Class President, 2013-2014
• Captain, Girls Varsity Basketball, 2014-2015
• Advanced Placement Scholar Award, 2014
• Fellowship of Christian Athletes MVP Award, 2014
• Gloria Katuka says Montverde Academy saved her life—literally. She hails from Zaria, Kaduna State in war-torn Northern Nigeria.