the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Demarest NJ, Students from the Academy of the Holy Angels volunteered their time to help the Community FoodBank of New Jersey present this spring’s Global Youth Service Day and Teen Hunger Forum. Teens from across New Jersey, including several Angels, attended both virtual events, which included discussions of hunger in our communities and ways to help. AHA’s participation was coordinated by Campus Minister Maryanne Miloscia.
Global Youth Service Day was hosted by the CFBNJ Teen Advisory Committee. Presenters for this online event included AHA students Alina Keshishian of Englewood Cliffs, Katherine “Amanda” Donohue of Hoboken, and Antonia Mysliwiec of Cliffside Park.
Schools were permitted to have up to 20 students log into this virtual event. Attendees learned facts about food insecurity, joined in community service conversations, and watched and discussed educational videos.
“Thank you for registering for CFBNJ’s celebration of Global Youth Service Day. We are excited for you all to join us at this teen-hosted event,” CFBNJ Schools & Community Outreach Manager Diana Levy told this year’s participants. “The CFBNJ Teen Advisory Committee, a group of 10 middle and high school students, has put together an awesome day for you all to learn more about food insecurity and how to get involved in your communities.”
AHA students who attended this workshop included Emily Kim and Natalie Yoo of Englewood Cliffs, Grace Costanza of Clifton, Jacqueline LaMastra of Tenafly, Alexis Mysliewiec of Cliffside Park, Isabel Stein of Rutherford, Chryssoula Hartofilis of New Milford, Jordan Kotch of Cornwall (NY), Madeleine Outlaw of Cresskill, Nicole Sinde of Englewood, Kathleen Stewart of Harrington Park, Ashley Terjanian of River Vale, and Isabella Troche of Prospect Park.
“What I liked most about the day was that there were many topics covered throughout the session,” one AHA participant said of Global Youth Service Day. “I enjoyed being able to learn about and discuss various topics related to hunger and food insecurity. I also enjoyed the smaller group discussions that allowed for more personalized interactions. I also liked that the presentations were run by students.
“I was very surprised to hear some of the statistics mentioned during the day. I had not seen the number of people facing food insecurity laid out in the way it was during the presentation, and I found it very shocking to see how many people are affected by this issue. I knew that many people were impacted, but I did not expect to see the number be so high.
“During the day, I heard about more opportunities to volunteer and work with the food bank as well as other food insecurity related organizations. I enjoyed hearing about these opportunities and I will be pursuing some of those opportunities in the future.”
The Teen Hunger Forum was hosted by the CFBNJ Teen Leadership Council, including AHA student Jamie Sung of Norwood. This event included a CFBNJ presentation, food insecurity facts, a child food insecurity presentation, a discussion of COVID-19’s impact on hunger, and a talk about community service.
Each school was permitted to have up to 15 students participate in this program. AHA’s representatives included Sydney Chung and Madeleine Outlaw of Cresskill, Juliet Gelineau and Chryssoula Hartofilis of New Milford, Nikki Theodorakos of Englewood Cliffs, Alexandra Valdez of Oakland, Haeun “Grace” Lee of Closter, Isabel Conyngham of Glen Rock, Jordan Kotch of Cornwall (NY), Nicole Sinde of Englewood, Ashley Terjanian of River Vale, and Isabella Troche of Prospect Park.
An Angel who participated in the Teen Hunger Forum said she enjoyed learning how to help others, and expressed interest in lending a hand. This student is already involved with several service projects, and has volunteered at CFBNJ.
“I learned how others may not be as fortunate, and I learned ways in which I can take part in the action with Teen Hunger,” the student commented. She added that she was surprised by the amount of food CFBNJ brings to the community.
Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential.
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