JUNE 2018
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Bergen County Woman Sleeps Outdoors to Support Covenant House

Demarest, NJ: Academy of the Holy Angels English Department Chair Nancy Schneberger recently joined forces with 94 women who slept in a Newark parking lot to raise funds for Covenant House.

“There were eight women in our group,” Schneberger said of the local contingent from Trinity Episcopal Church in Allendale. “The woman who invited me to join is going to be 80 years old. I thought that if she could do this, so could I!”

There was much more to her decision, however. Schneberger wanted to participate because she is aware of the work being done by Covenant House.

“They provide a safe haven for homeless kids, job training, life skills, and other much-needed services for vulnerable and desperate youth,” she noted.

During the “sleep out,” Schneberger and her companions met some current and past Covenant House residents and listened to their stories.

“One girl went from being a homeless, pregnant teenager at 16 to a college professor with a Ph.D. because of the support and guidance of Covenant House,” Schneberger shared.

The uplifting talks with the residents provided encouragement to those who spent a chilly night in sleeping bags. Participants were given cardboard to place under their sleeping bags as protection against the dampness. According to Schneberger, the dampness came in anyway.

“I felt uncomfortable, but safe, because I had a community of women around me in solidarity with the homeless.”

Schneberger and her companions were the top fundraising group, but she declined to mention a specific amount.

“Everyone's contributions will help many needy people,” she said.

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.


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