October 2018
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Student’s Poem Presented at United Nations Event

Demarest, NJ: Little Ferry resident Annabel Hazrati received an incredible honor this month, as her original poem “Pink Is the Strongest Color” was presented at the United Nations during the seventh annual celebration of the International Day of the Girl. Hazrati is a junior at the Academy of the Holy Angels, and visited the UN with several schoolmates and chaperones, including AHA President Melinda Hanlon and AHA Director of Mission and Ministry Joan Connelly.

Sister Eileen Reilly, director of the School Sisters of Notre Dame’s United Nations Non-governmental Organization Office, regularly arranges for AHA students to attend various UN-sponsored events. The SSNDs founded and sponsor AHA, and are registered with the UN as an NGO, a unique connection that allows Angels to observe and participate in UN-based programs.

Hazrati was one of several girls from around the globe who lent her voice to the 2018 International Day of the Girl. The event included performances and contributions from girls from Afghanistan, Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, the United States, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

Hazrati’s poem explores concepts of gender identity and the power of femininity. It was presented as part of a skit by multiple performers.

“Pink Is the Strongest Color “

Ashamed is the mother
Of the nine year old boy
Who loves the color pink
And says lipstick’s his favorite toy.

Makeovers and dress-up
Are his preferred games to play,
But he can’t go outside
Without being called “gay.”

The twelve year old girl
Wears soccer shorts, quite big of a size,
and a blue t-shirt that says,
“I’m one of the guys”

She laughs at other girls
Who wear pink skirts to school;
And tells them to wear blue
Because “Being girly isn’t cool!”

When did makeup,
an incredible form of art,
like that of Picasso and Van Gogh,
start causing shame in our heart?

When did the color pink,
the color of sunset skies above,
or flowers blooming below,
become something to feel guilty of?

Why is it that girls,
who play with toy cars,
Are the only ones recognized
As being rebellious shooting stars?

It’s because society
degrades us for being feminine.
Because the color pink and french tips
are inferior to the qualities of men.

Now is the time to recognize
that wearing makeup, and a dress,
And pink heels, and earrings,
Is not a sign of weakness.

So keep in mind that strong women
with pink lipstick are no myth;
Because femininity
Is a force to be reckoned with.


AHA students who traveled to the UN this month included Sahar Ali-Jenkins of Teaneck, Olivia Arrigoitia of Dumont, Michaela Broussard of New City (NY), Angelina and Jillian Busetto of Pomona (NY), Cristiana Calegari of Upper Saddle River, Eva Cami of Demarest, Yasmine Carter-McTavish of Lodi, Kristen Chung of Wyckoff, Dominique Clisura of Rutherford, Baylee-Rose Cooper of Saddle Brook, Kristen D’Elia of Ramsey, Lara Derjangocyan of Englewood Cliffs, Holly Gibbard of Emerson, Aimee Hannoush of Wyckoff, Amanda Hawthorne of River Edge, Daniella Hernandez of Northvale, Jacklyn Kelly of Norwood, Ernestine Klecz of River Edge, Emily and Rianna LeHane of Pearl River (NY), Sasha Leys of Tappan (NY), Olivia Lopez of Leonia, Abigail Lovatt of Wood-Ridge, Lucy McAuliffe of Allendale, Sarah McGowan of Rutherford, Madelyn Menapace of Hawthorne, Maureen Murray of Norwood, Kimberly Pienkawa of Upper Nyack (NY), Liliette Quintana of Midland Park, Olivia Rettew of Teaneck, Victoria Robinson of Emerson, Victoria Sanabria of West New York, Gabriela Sandoval of Washington Township, Abigail Sheehan of Wyckoff, Kaya Simmons of West Orange, Caroline Staff of Oradell, Emilie Thomas of Oradell, Melina Tidwell Torres of North Arlington, Ava Tirri of Park Ridge, and Gillian van der Have of West Nyack (NY).

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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