Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

The Fuel Online

From the Congo to America

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Junior Raphael Moembo arrived in the United States in 2016.

Back to Article
Back to Article

From the Congo to America

Photo By: Leslie Martinez

Photo By: Leslie Martinez

Photo By: Leslie Martinez

Diversity among the campus is a welcomed constant. Several students come from different countries and cultures, adding to our flourishing melting pot.

Three years ago, varsity soccer and football player junior Raphael Moembo moved to America from his home country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Moembo arrived in America in January 2016 as a 14-year-old, entering eighth grade at Woodlake Middle School. For him, the hardest part was learning a new language.

“[Moving] was kind of hard. It was hard because I didn’t know English and I had to learn it from the beginning,” Moembo said. “I started with taking the ESL class in middle school and I’ve been taking it for three years now. It was hard learning English. Really hard.”

The official language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is French, but other national languages also include Lingala and Swahili. Moembo is fluent in five languages: French, Lingala, Swahili, English, and he is currently still learning Spanish.

“I can talk to [anyone] that I want to talk to. It actually makes it easier. Some people, they can’t communicate with all the people that only speak English, but I can because I speak the language they speak. It’s easier for me to communicate with everybody,” Moembo said.

Moembo’s father moved to America in 2001 to study and work, occasionally going back to visit his family. It wasn’t until 2016 that Moembo finally got the chance to live with his father in America for the first time.

“I had to come live with my dad. I had never lived with him. He came here right when I was born,” Moembo said. “He came to visit and everything, but he was not there (Congo) for a long time, so I had to come and live with him.”

Photo By: Leslie Martinez

Moembo plays for the varsity soccer and football teams, but soccer is the sport he has always been passionate about as he grew up playing the sport with his family and friends.

“Whenever I play soccer, most of the time, I actually don’t care about what I’m doing. It’s just me having fun. Like playing with my friends and everything, that’s one of the only things I actually enjoy a lot,” Moembo said.

Even though the soccer team has struggled in recent years, Moembo is determined that they will make the playoffs this year.

“My goal for this year is [for the] soccer season right now. [We’re] trying to make it to the playoffs this year,” Moembo said. “We did three years and we haven’t done anything, so this year is the year we’re gonna make the playoffs. I believe in that.”

While Moembo enjoys playing sports, what he wants to do after high school is still undecided.

“I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, but I feel like being an athlete will go better in my life. I don’t know. I haven’t decided what I want,” Moembo said.

Moembo plans to continue playing soccer and football for his senior year and hopes to be able to visit his home country once again.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Jennifer Castillo, Sophomore

I’m Jennifer Castillo and I’m a sophomore.  I’m excited to be on the newspaper staff this year as a writer. I like to walk my dog, read, write,...

Navigate Left
  • From the Congo to America

    Features

    Mrs. Debbie McKnight returns to school after cancer scare

  • From the Congo to America

    Features

    Mr. Mark Istratie takes over color guard

  • From the Congo to America

    Features

    Embracing the American Way

  • From the Congo to America

    Features

    Senior JohnPatrick Gonzalez heading back to native Philippines for college

  • From the Congo to America

    Features

    Substitutes like The Gatsons are essential to the functionality of the campus

  • From the Congo to America

    Features

    Mr. Charlie Smith has spent his entire life in Judson ISD

  • From the Congo to America

    Features

    District implements Academic Decathlon programs

  • From the Congo to America

    Features

    Parents have stepped up to support the school’s bowling team

  • From the Congo to America

    Features

    Sophomore Terri Martinez finds unexpected solace in rugby

  • From the Congo to America

    Features

    Junior Lonnie Buck reflects on being a drum major

Navigate Right

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Covering The Judson Community Since 2014
From the Congo to America