Joyce Orishaba is a junior at Poway to Palomar Middle College High School in north San Diego. She was one of 13 winners of the New York Times 100-word student essay competition out of more than 12,000 entries, writing a moving story about her earlier life in Uganda, which brought greater awareness to the plight of the indigenous Batwa tribe.
Orishaba is a member of the National Honor Society, a Civics Unplugged Fellow 2022, and head of her school’s Music Production Club. She has interned for Redemption Song Foundation for several summers, a nonprofit founded by her adoptive mother to empower the Batwa through livelihood projects, education, and community development. She’s working on developing ‘Discover The Lost Tribe,’ an ambassadorship program to connect American and Batwa teens. She loves to sing, surf, and dance.