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Senior Spotlight - Juliene Prospa, South High School

South High senior Juliene ProspaJuliene Prospa, a senior at South High School, appreciated many of her teachers and staff at South High who encouraged her to do her best in school.

“When I first came to South as a freshman, I was nervous. I thought I would not fit in,” she said. “But I met teachers who accepted me for who I am and encouraged me to come out of my shell and be myself.”

“South is a good place to learn. I really like it here and will miss it.”

Juliene was born in Tanzania and came to the U.S. from the Republic of Congo when she was in fourth grade. She arrived during winter and had a hard time adapting to the cold weather.

“That was my first time seeing snow. I was not used to the cold wind hitting me and I just wanted to stay inside the school and not go outside,” Juliene said.

She knew some English but was placed in the Newcomer program at Colvin Elementary to improve her language skills. She also attended Jardine Magnet Middle School and said that was one her favorite places because she met a lot of her friends there.

She appreciated the opportunities to be involved at South. She likes to attend athletic events to cheer on her classmates, she helped plan activities like prom, and was involved in leadership groups like LAASE (Ladies Academic and Social Excellence).

She also knows she wouldn’t have those same opportunities if she hadn’t moved to the U.S.

“If I was still back in Africa, I wouldn’t be in school, since education tends to favor boys,” Juliene said. “Girls are expected to stay home and take care of the family. They don’t go to school.”

Juliene has joined the Army and will ship out in June. She is going to focus on the medical field and plans to become a doctor or nurse.

“I want to be able to help people,” she said.

Watch Juliene's Senior Spotlight video.