JULY 2020
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Rising Junior Welcomed into National Society of High School Scholars

Demarest, NJ: Natasha Dhanrajani, a rising junior at the Academy of the Holy Angels, has earned lifetime membership in the National Society of High School Scholars. This Bardonia, New York, resident joins approximately 1,500,000 NSHSS members who reside in over 170 countries worldwide (source:

"I am honored to have been selected to join this prestigious society, and I am excited to participate in the various activities offered alongside other members nationwide," said Dhanrajani.

NSHSS was founded in 2002 by James W. Lewis and Claes Nobel, a member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes. The society recognizes high school students who demonstrate superior academic achievements, and provides access to scholarships, internships, international study, and peer networks.

“On behalf of NSHSS, I am honored to recognize the hard work, sacrifice, and commitment that Natasha has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence,” Nobel said. “Natasha is now a member of a unique community of scholars – a community that represents our very best hope for the future.”

NSHSS President Lewis added, “We aim to help students like Natasha build on their academic success by connecting them with unique learning experiences and resources to help prepare them for college and meaningful careers.”

Dhanrajani maintains an excellent grade point average that earned her a spot on the Principal’s List as a freshman. She is an award-winning writer who earned a Gold Key and a Silver Key for the dramatic scripts she submitted to the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. Four of her original pieces have been published in “Scrawl: Rockland Teens Write.” At Holy Angels, Dhanrajani contributes to the school newspaper (AHA Voice). She also shared her growth mindset learning experiences in a recent AHA blog.

Dhanrajani is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the AHA Diversity Council. She is an executive board member of the Academy’s Outreach organization, and serves as an Angel Ambassador. Last fall, she attended the International Day of the Girl celebration at the United Nations. She recently represented AHA at the virtual 2020 Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference.

This musically inclined teen sings with Joining Old and Young, an AHA-based choral group that performs for seniors who reside in local assisted living facilities. She plays violin for the AHA Orchestra and takes guitar lessons. Dhanrajani also enjoys tap and jazz dancing.

In addition to her studies at Holy Angels, she has participated in an acting workshop at the New York Film Academy, and has taken numerous courses at Columbia University. Dhanrajani has pursued Columbia’s courses in creative writing, coding, and physical science. This summer, she is taking Columbia’s computer science course, which will allow her to earn three college credits. As a junior, she will be taking Advanced Placement courses in physics and biology, and a high honors English course. She plans to take the AP English and Composition exam.

Dhanrajani is currently an intern at a local electronics firm. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company shipped relevant materials to her so she can work at home. She tests various products and proposes improvements based on user experience. Her work also includes a research project.

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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