Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Juliana Cortés Lugo came to Edmonton about five years ago. Immigrating to Canada was a way to find economic stability and to reunite her family, as her older sister had been living in Canada for ten years beforehand. Almost immediately upon her arrival, Juliana integrated herself into, and worked for the betterment of, her community.
Starting in high school, Juliana volunteered with the Canadian Council for Refugees. Two years later, she assumed the position of Youth Ambassador in CCR Youth Network, Edmonton Chapter. As Youth Ambassador she was responsible for engaging newcomer youth in Edmonton, as well as coordinating events in the city to create awareness about immigrant and refugee youth issues. Currently, she is still involved with the organization. She is committed to promoting the Youth Network at the University of Alberta, particularly through a CSL partnership with a graduate course to organize a film series during Solidarity Week.
And that’s not all! Juliana also plays an integral role in Programa Nosotros, a local Spanish-language television program. In her contributions to the program, Juliana often works to highlight issues and causes that are important to her such as decolonization, anti-oppression, social justice and equity.
Juliana is very worthy of this recognition, for her assiduous work to improve her local and global community. What’s more, her active spirit is an inspiration for those around her. Her future is promising and all who know her cannot wait to see her future accomplishments and contributions to Edmonton, Canada and the world.