Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Aprile Bertomo Wins Local Voice of Democracy Competition

Demarest, NJ: While researching college scholarship opportunities, Academy of the Holy Angels senior Aprile Bertomo discovered the Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy contest, and decided to submit an entry. Her essay on this year’s theme, “American History: Our Hope for the Future,” was recently chosen as the winning entry at the local level.

Quartermaster John Smith of the Bergenfield VFW visited AHA to personally present Bertomo with a certificate and a check. AHA Principal Jean Mulloly and Bertomo’s mother, Victoria Bertomo, looked on with approbation.

Smith explained that Bertomo’s winning entry was one of 175 that were submitted to the Bergenfield VFW. Her essay will now be forwarded to the district level, which includes all of Bergen County. The district-level winner’s essay will be submitted to the statewide competition.

Monetary awards are available at each level, with the top prize being a $30,000 college scholarship for the national winner.

The Voice of Democracy essay contest was established 70 years ago. According to the VFW’s official website ( approximately 40,000 high school students from the United States enter every year.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. 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.

Academy of the Holy Angels

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