Get Started

October 29, 2021

Sister Nonna Dunphy Scholarship Finalists & Semifinalists Recognized

 The 2021-22 Sister Nonna Dunphy Scholarship finalists and semifinalists were announced at Academy of the Holy Angels’ October 22 Foundation Day ceremony.


This year’s finalists include seniors Elizabeth Kim of Old Tappan and Grace Watson of Glen Rock. Watson is now a two-time winner of this sought-after scholarship. Angel finalists also include juniors Isabel Stein of Rutherford, who was a semifinalist in 2020-21, and Giovanna Corbisiero of Franklin Lakes; and sophomores Beatrice Gee of Englewood and Natalia Ruiz of Fairview.

Semifinalists are seniors Isabella Dail of Saddle River, Brooke Hess of Cedar Grove, Alina Keshishian of Englewood Cliffs, and Madeline Risbud of Westwood; juniors Giselle Acosta of Fort Lee, Caroline Dupas of Pearl River, New York, and Ava Goyal of Montclair; and sophomores Olivia Papp of Hawthorne and Elise Tao of Upper Saddle River.


Each finalist receives a $2,500 award.


Students are invited to apply based on academic achievement, leadership, character, service, and teacher recommendations. The Scholarship Committee interviews the applicants and selects the finalists from the senior, junior, and sophomore classes. Finalists and semifinalists are traditionally honored on Foundation Day.


Finalists are cognizant that, with their ability, comes responsibility for sharing their gifts with others. Applicants must reflect the ideals Sister Mary Nonna Dunphy, SSND, foundress of the Academy of the Holy Angels, embodied and encouraged in her students. In particular, applicants must have the capacity to make decisions based on faith, character, and gospel values.


The AHA Board of Directors established the Nonna Dunphy Scholarships during the 1990-91 academic year, when Holy Angels was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the school’s move from Fort Lee to Demarest. The awards are presented in honor S. Nonna, who reportedly had just $20 in her pocket on October 2, 1879, when she and S. Cyrilla Geifel signed the contract for the original AHA campus in Fort Lee.


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.