Get Started

November 27, 2023

HOBY Delegates and Alternate Named

Chanel Hwang of Old Tappan and Emily Vonderhorst of Pearl River, New York, have been named the Academy of the Holy Angels’ representatives to the 2024 Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar. Caitlin Liau of Tenafly was tapped as AHA’s alternate. New Jersey’s HOBY seminar will be held at Drew University in Madison in June 2024.

Chanel Hwang, Emily Vonderhorst, and Caitlin Liau.

Chanel Hwang is working to put an end to food insecurity. She is founder and president of AHA’s chapter of SecurEats, which hosts events to support food insecure women and children.


She is also active with Project Greenhouse, which grows fresh vegetables in the AHA greenhouse and garden, and donates the produce to local food pantries. Project Greenhouse also fundraises for Saint Cecilia’s Food Pantry. As a member of Outreach, Hwang helps coordinate and carry out school-wide service projects, including food drives, Operation Rice Bowl, and trick or treat donations for UNICEF. Outreach works with the Bergen County Interreligious Fellowship for the Homeless, Center for Food Action, Center for Concern, and Habitat for Humanity to help people in need.


Hwang is a member of Angels on Air, which creates video news reports to foster engagement within the school community. Her participation in Angels in Medicine allows her to learn more about medical careers by performing dissections and hearing from guest speakers.


This Angel is a varsity fencer and foil team captain at AHA. In 2022, she earned first place at the Cobra International Youth Cadet Junior Fencing event. She recently earned first place in the NJSIAA District competition, third place in the Bergen County Tournament, and a USA E23 rating. She also earned BPFL First Team All-League, Second Team All-League, and Third Team All-County honors. She made the USA Fencing All-Academic First Team and All-American Honorable Mention.


Hwang is a teaching assistant at her church and has received a scholarship from her local police department. She is a member of the National Honor Society.


Emily Vonderhorst has been active with Girls Who Code since she was in the eighth grade, and recently participated in this group’s summer immersion program. As a GWC assistant, Vonderhorst develops curriculum and teaches younger students. Vonderhorst also participated in an Industry Immersion Day in New York, and the J.P. Morgan Chase Generation Tech Event, a three-day workshop with tech leaders.


When she was in sixth grade, she co-founded Community Connections, which offers tech support to senior citizens and community members who are isolated. She is also a Learning Lab assistant at her library, where she runs programs for patrons of all ages, and offers one-to-one tech help for senior citizens. She is a member of the AHA Robotics Team and the American Computer Science League.


Vonderhorst was chosen to serve on the Orangetown Youth Court, where teens perform the roles of judge, prosecutor, etc. This is an alternative to the criminal justice system for young people who have committed a crime.


Currently, she is Student Council Class President, secretary of Angels in Medicine, and a member of Doctors Without Borders. She serves on the Middle States Committee, and is active with the Academy Orchestra, the American Sign Language Club, Crochet for a Cause, and the Green Action Team.


She plays varsity basketball, lacrosse, and soccer at AHA. She was named First Team All-League for her contributions to the soccer team, and First Team All-League and All-Academic Team in lacrosse. She plays club basketball and lacrosse, and serves as a soccer referee.


Caitlin Liau earned AHA’s Mother Caroline and Nonna Dunphy scholarships, and received a silver medal for her achievements on the 2023 National Spanish Exam. Liau sings Soprano II for the Academy Concert Choir and Seraphima, AHA’s select a cappella ensemble. Her performance as a featured singer in AHA’s production of “Twelfth Night the Musical” earned her a bergenPAC Award nomination for Outstanding Ensemble Member. Her musical interests also include membership in the Handbell Choir. Liau is a member of Tri-M, the national music honor society. This busy Angel shares her knowledge of AHA as an Angel Ambassador, and serves as editor-in-chief of the yearbook.


Outside of school, Liau is first soloist with a pre-professional dance program. At the Youth America Grand Prix Philadelphia Regional Semifinal, she became a top 24 junior classical soloist and third place small ensemble member. She has been performing since she was in first grade, and regularly lands leading roles. She is a troupe member at the Woorigarak Korean Cultural Art Center, where she performs traditional Korean dance and music for the Korea Tourism Organization. She also danced at the Korean Cultural Center in New York. Liau has participated in the Kaatsbaan Ballet Intensive and the American Ballet Theatre’s Virtual Intensive.


Liau is the founder of Dance to You, a volunteer group that brings dance to senior centers, shelters, and schools with limited resources. Liau developed the plan, recruited dancers, and created a website and social media presence. She organizes each program, choreographs and teaches group dances, leads rehearsals, and customizes performances to engage her audience.


She also served as a volunteer program assistant for Siena House, a Bronx-based shelter for single women who are pregnant or have a young child.


Her outreach helped her earn the President’s Volunteer Service Program – Bronze Award.