September 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Holy Angels Senior Thrives at NJ Scholars Program

Demarest, NJ: Julia Mohr (AHA Class of 2020) was one of only 39 teens accepted to the 2019 New Jersey Scholars Program. This rigorous, residential program was held at Lawrenceville School during the summer. Participants invested five weeks considering “Mind and Body: The Future of Being Human.”

For her final research project, Mohr chose to explore the emotional and physical effects of using global positioning systems and similar technologies to monitor people with mild to moderate dementia compared with the use of cameras and infrared monitoring. Her topic was an outgrowth of a discussion of autonomy versus safety.

“The use of location tracking, which allows the patient more autonomy, facilitates exercise and social interactions, both of which are linked to healthier mental states and an increase of myelin and dopamine,” Mohr noted. “Furthermore, due to the prevalence of these systems in today’s technology, the use of similar systems would be less stigmatizing, and would allow greater autonomy and dignity to (the affected individuals) while still providing them with care.”

Commenting on her time as an NJ Scholar, Mohr said, “My experience at NJSP was incredible. For five weeks, I was completely surrounded with like-minded peers who were friendly, helpful, and always interested in having both academic and casual conversations. Though our interests sometimes varied, we were all alike in our commitment to advancing our knowledge and widening our perspectives.”

The challenging curriculum broadened Mohr’s knowledge of sociology, philosophy, literature, and anthropology.

“The lectures were long, but interesting, and always followed up with seminars where we discussed the material presented. All seminars were given around a Harkness table: a special round table that facilitates free conversation.”

Students heard lectures on philosophy, ethics, and science. Topics included “The Soul and the Self,” “The Evolutionary Perspective on Human Health and Consciousness,” and “Self and Identity.”

“During seminars, we were allowed to make connections to modern day politics, scientific discoveries, and other philosophies,” Mohr reported. “Some seminars were calm, and others extremely heated, but all the scholars were respectful and interested in hearing one another's opinions.”

Participants also had time to rest and enjoy their stay at the Reynolds residence hall, and stop by the local shops. Mohr and her new friends used some of their free time to visit the Princeton University Art Museum.

“NJSP gave me an experience unlike any other. I heard a new range of perspectives from my peers, all of whom were open minded and equally interested in learning the material. I learned a lot about topics I was interested in, and my opinion was valued,” Mohr said. “Just as importantly, I went home knowing that I now had 38 best friends I could always count on for anything.”

A resident of Maywood, Mohr is an Advanced Placement Scholar. She is an officer in AHA’s chapter of the National Latin Honor Society, and recently earned cum laude recognition for her work on the National Latin Exam. Her peers know her as a tutor in Latin and biology.

Mohr is also an Angel Ambassador, editor for Angels on Air, and a violinist for the Academy Orchestra. She is a member of the AHA Junior Varsity Tennis Team, and is active with Blankets for Linus and Debate Club. Her outstanding grade point average landed her a place on the Principal’s List, an honor reserved for Angels who maintain GPAs of 95 percent or higher. She previously attended the Northeastern University Design Pre-College Program.

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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