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December 13, 2020

Chang & Noble Are AHA’s NJ Scholars Program Nominees

Cara Chang of Fort Lee and Josephine Noble of Demarest have been named the Academy of the Holy Angels’ nominees to the 2021 New Jersey Scholars Program. The nominees, both of whom are members of the Class of 2022, will now complete their NJSP applications, which include a series of essays, a research paper, a summary of their achievements, and personal recommendations.

Successful applicants will consider “Mind and Body: The Future of Being Human.” Plans call for the interdisciplinary five-week program to be held at the Lawrenceville School next summer. If the pandemic precludes the traditional residential program, a virtual option will be available.

“I believe that being part of the New Jersey Scholars Program will give me a chance to work with, and to learn from, ambitious students and mentors. My goal is to enhance my leadership skills,” Chang said.

This active young woman is an Angel Ambassador, an AHA Debate Team judge, and a member of the Academy’s Operation Smile group. Chang also participates in Medical Enthusiasts Determined to Succeed, a club for Angels who are interested in medical careers. Since 2019, Chang has been a junior volunteer at Englewood Hospital, where she assists with patient discharge procedures and assists in lab work with specimens, results, and charts. She has also volunteered with the Good Liver Foundation at National Taiwan University Hospital, where she set up blood collection stations, and assisted doctors and nurses at hepatitis screenings.


In 2018, Chang participated in a two-week summer leadership and debate program at the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute in New York City. The following year, she returned to the institute for a 1:1 mentorship program to learn leadership and communication skills.


Chang recently completed an internship with Fiesta 4 Hope, a non-profit that serves the people of Puerto Rico, and has taken on a leadership position with that group. Chang supports AHA’s theater productions as a member of the stage and lobby crews. She is a member of the Academy’s varsity track and field team, and pursues competitive swimming outside of AHA. She is a member of the Scarlett Unified Aquatics/NJ and the United States Swim Association.


Chang has been playing piano since 2008. She is a member of the AHA Chorus and AHA Vocal Ensemble, an audition-only a cappella group. This year, she became a member of the Tri-M National Music Honor Society, which recognizes accomplished musicians who also demonstrate scholarship, character, and leadership.


This Angel is part of the New York Academy of Sciences’ Junior Academy, a group of 1,000 students chosen from 17,000 applicants in over 100 countries. With mentors and STEM experts, Chang and her peers focus on solutions to societal challenges. She was also chosen for “1,000 Girls, 1,000 Futures,” an initiative for young women interested in STEM careers.


From 2017 through 2019, Chang has participated in a multi-week Mandarin language immersion program in Taipei, Taiwan. She has been learning Mandarin since 2007 and is currently at Level 10 at the Tzu Chi Academy, where she recently received honors for her achievements. Chang has also earned the M. Tomasulo Scholarship for Academic Excellence.


During the summer of 2020, Chang participated in “Economics for Leaders,” a program offered by Brown and Cornell universities, and took part in an immersion course for women who code.


“I would love to be a part of the New Jersey Scholars Program because I think that it would better help me understand the future which my generation, and the ones which come after, will live in,” Noble commented. “This year’s theme piqued my interest because it deals not only with the physical aspects of what the future might bring, but the mental and psychological as well. As technology becomes more and more present in our lives, I think it is very important to know both the upsides and downsides of it, and what we can do to prepare for when it takes an even bigger role in our daily life. Through this program, I hope to learn more about what it means to be growing up and living in this increasingly digital age, and what effect that might have on my future and the future of all humanity.”


Noble has served as president and vice president of the National Junior Beta Honor Society. She recently became a member of the National Honor Society and the Thespian Honor Society. She has earned the Girl Scouts of America’s Bronze Award for her work at a local animal shelter, and the Silver Award for building a garden and outdoor gathering area at a women’s shelter.


As a middle school student, Noble won second place in AHA’s STREAM Competition and took first place in the Cresskill Environmental Society Essay Contest. She also finished first in Saint Joseph’s Scholastic Olympics.


Noble earned an award for investing over 100 hours of volunteer service in a year at the Bergen County Zoo. As a zoo docent/counselor-in-training, Noble is responsible for interacting with children, leading tours, handling animals and discussing their activities and habitats, reading at storytime, and assisting at birthday parties.


This Angel earned the Magna Cum Laude Award for her work on the National Latin Examination, and received the Presidential Medal of Service—Silver for presenting concerts at local assisted living facilities through AHA’s JOY (Joining Old and Young) program. She is currently JOY vice president. This musical Angel also sings for the AHA Choir and plays for the AHA Handbell Choir.


She is also active with the Knitting for Life Crocheting Committee. This student-run organization donates crocheted and knitted items to hospitals and charities, and fundraises for people in need.


Noble is a peer tutor for English and history. She has been active with AHA Radio, Classics Club, Watercolor Club, the AHA Voice (newspaper), and Project Greenhouse. Students who work in the school greenhouse grow fresh produce that is donated to food pantries. She also enjoys bowling for AHA, and tap dancing. She performed as a member of the “Peter and the Starcatcher” ensemble, and now heads the Lobby Design Crew.

The NJSP will notify students about their application status by late February, and finalists will visit the Lawrenceville School in March. Each finalist will participate in a group interview and will tour the campus with a past scholar. The Selection Committee will announce is final decisions in April 2021.

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.