November 02, 2023

Elise Tao Enjoys String of Success

Elise Tao’s hard work is paying incredible dividends. This fall, she was named the Academy of the Holy Angels’ nominee to the 62nd Annual United States Senate Youth Program. This highly selective, merit-based convocation is sponsored by The Hearst Foundation and the U.S. Senate.


Each year, high school principals from across the nation are invited to nominate one outstanding junior or senior who demonstrates leadership, scholarship, strong communication skills, and an interest in history, politics, and public service. Two student leaders from each state are then selected to spend the first week of March 2024 in Washington, D.C., with all expenses covered by The Hearst Foundation. In the past, delegates have participated in meetings with the president and a Supreme Court justice, and heard addresses by high-ranking government officials.


Each delegate also receives a $10,000 college scholarship.

Elise Tao at JCamp.


Tao, a member of the Class of 2024 at Holy Angels, explores her interests in business, politics, and international relations as an award-winning member of DECA Team for business-minded and entrepreneurial teens, and Model United Nations. She is a member of the AHA Student Council and is founder and president of Student Mathletes, AHA’s competitive math team.


She has earned AHA’s Mother Caroline Scholarship and S. Mary Nonna Dunphy Scholarship. She is currently a semifinalist for a Coca-Cola Scholarship.


Tao was recently recognized as a Commended Student in the National Merit Program. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Mu Alpha Theta (math) honor society, and the Science National Honor Society. This month, she will become a member of Rho Kappa, the national honor society for students who demonstrate excellence in social studies.


Before she entered AHA, Tao launched her own literary magazine, Synthesis Publications, which features student art and writing. She has contributed her work to the AHA literary magazine, “Blueprint,” and earned multiple Gold Keys for her written submissions to the regional Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. In the fall of 2022, she attended the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl.


In March of 2023, Tao participated in the 16th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy. She was one of just 100 teens chosen from among 25,000 applicants. Tao enjoyed making connections with peers and celebrities.


This busy young woman is active with Everytown Students Demand Action, an anti-gun violence organization she discovered while representing AHA at the 2022 Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference. She recently traveled to Denver, Colorado, to attend Everytown for Gun Safety’s first student campaign program, Demand a Seat: Students Edition. She was one of 40 attendees who were invited to learn about every phase of the campaign process. She also had the opportunity to meet current legislators.


Over the summer of 2023, Tao attended JCamp, the Asian American Journalism Association’s national multicultural program for high school students. The program seeks to increase diversity in journalism. As part of this six-day experience, participants produce stories for JCamp Live.


“JCamp was one of the most incredible experiences of this summer for sure,” Tao shared. “I learned so much about journalism through a print, visual, and sonic lens. I made so many new friends from all around the country and learned immensely from the talented journalists who led the program. I went on my own reporting trip to the National Gallery of Art to see The Little Dancer and report on the fallout of its vandalism a couple of months prior.”