February 16, 2021

AHA’s Brigid Miller Is Candidate in U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

Brigid Miller of Pearl River, New York, has been invited to apply to the 2021 United States Presidential Scholars Program. Miller, a senior at the Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, New Jersey, is one of 4,500 nominees chosen from the nation high school seniors.


Representatives from White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the United States Department of Education shared the news of Miller’s candidacy for this highly competitive program. Candidates are chosen based on outstanding performance on the ACT Assessment, the College Board SAT, or nomination by a Chief State School Officer. Eligible students must demonstrate superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership, character, and involvement in school and community activities.


“We are extremely happy that Brigid has been invited to apply for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Brigid is not only a stellar student, but a young woman who is a natural leader intent on making the world a better place,” said AHA Principal Jean Miller (no relation to Brigid).


The candidate is a National Merit® Semifinalist based on her performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit® Scholarship Qualifying Test. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Art Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (math honor society), and the Science National Honor Society. She is an Angel Ambassador, a member of the AHA Diversity Council, and a contributor to the AHA blog. Last fall, she was commissioned as a Eucharistic Minister. Miller has also participated in the Perry Outreach program, an opportunity for young women to gain hands-on experience in engineering and medical careers, including orthopedics. In 2020, she organized an outreach to purchase and deliver lunches to staff at assisted living facilities in New City and Nyack, New York. Miller’s efforts support health care workers and restaurateurs, all of whom were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Miller is also managing editor of the AHA Voice, and previously served as editor of that publication’s STEM section. This year, she is president of Project Greenhouse, the AHA group that grows produce in the campus greenhouse and delivers it to a local food bank. She has earned AHA’s Mother Caroline Scholarship and Sister Nonna Dunphy Scholarship. During her sophomore and junior years, Miller earned gold medals for her outstanding work on the National Spanish Exam. She was selected for the University of Notre Dame Leadership Seminars, and received the Dartmouth College Book Award for Exceptional Academics.


Miller is a volunteer at Spectrum for Living, Meatloaf Kitchen in New York City, and Englewood Hospital. She has been a debate judge for three years and a Student Council representative for the past two years. Her outstanding grade point average (consistently 95 or higher) has kept her on the AHA Principal’s List each quarter since her freshman year.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President. The program’s mission is “to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.” (Source: Each year, up to 161 high school seniors are named U.S. Presidential Scholars. In 1979, the recognition program started welcoming students who excel in the visual, creative, and performing arts. Students who demonstrate achievement in career and technical fields have been recognized since 2015.


Candidates who have been invited to apply to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program will be evaluated by a panel of educators. Approximately 600 semifinalists will be named in April. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of citizens appointed by the President, will select the finalists, and the U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.


If circumstances allow, 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars will receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they will receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.


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. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. 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—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.