A street child discovered in an African shanty town by a St David’s pupil who was then brought over to be educated at the school, has been awarded a First-Class Honours Degree in Business and Law from Bangor University.
Julius Muyombya, had been abandoned by his parents as a small child to be brought up by his grandmother along with several of his siblings in a one-roomed shack in Kampala, Uganda.
By the age of seven, Julius was collecting rubbish from the streets to help earn money for his grandmother.
Pupils from St David’s College, Llandudno, who visit Uganda every year to do outreach work, raised money to rehouse the family.
One of them, Christina Ramsay, ended up spending several days with Julius and the teenager was struck by what she later described as the young boy’s “spark”.
She returned home determined to find a way to bring the then 11-year-old to North Wales. Her idea was supported by Rev. Tim Hall who supported her idea and within a year and a half, got him a birth certificate, passport and visa.
St David’s College agreed to give 100% sponsorship to Julius, with his other financial needs met by a group of parents and friends called The Friends of Julius.
Julius, now 21, remembers when he first arrived at the school, he said: “I knew I would have to work harder than any other student at St David’s College.”
“I had years of education to catch up on and I had a new language to learn quickly so that I could access the teaching.”
At first his GCSE grades were predicted to be mostly U’s.
“I felt terrible as I felt I was letting everybody down, so I decided I had to work three times harder than everyone else,” he said.
Julius’ sheer determination meant he went on to achieve eight GCSEs grade C and above. A remarkable achievement for a teenager who only started receiving a formal education just three years before.
He again exceeded expectations in the Sixth Form and was awarded a scholarship to Bangor University to read Business and Law. Not just that, his pioneering entrepreneurial project in Uganda meant that he was awarded the overall BTEC Business and Enterprise Student of the Year in 2016.
At Bangor, he thrived and during his time there served as a course rep, a peer guide and after joining Enactus, became President in his second year.
After discovering he will be graduating with a First Class Degree in Business and Law, Julius said: “It is a dream come true.”
“Eight years ago, I came to this country on a scholarship and was predicted to fail my GCSE’s because of cultural differences, different education system and language barriers.”
“But I worked extremely hard and proved the predictions wrong when I passed all my GCSE’s.”
Julius, who will continue his studies in Uganda, added: “I believe if I managed to overcome all these challenges, anyone can do the same with hard work.”
“However, this couldn’t be possible without the support from those who have been there for me since day one.”
“I want to thank St David’s College for giving me the best foundation and opportunity to flourish and finally, thanks must go to Bangor University for being an outstanding institution with exceptional student services.”
St David’s College School Chaplain Reverend Tim Hall said: “Julius’ journey from discovering him as an orphan in poverty in one of the worst shanty towns in Kampala to getting a First Class Honours degree is beyond inspirational.
“He has taken this opportunity with both hands and squandered nothing and we are in awe.”