Awareness Day

Regular classes are put aside one day a year as students attend workshops on a variety of topics of concern to today's youth. Each Awareness Day helps to raise consciousness and increase the commitment of Holy Angels to build the earth in a positive way.

Each year, topics vary based on the theme of the day. Below is a sampling of the workshops offered in recent years during Awareness Day.

2021 - Care for Our Common Home

  • CJ Sivulka was the keynote speaker - Overview of Environmental Issues
  • International Studies Class prepared the second keynote - “ Let’s leave the Earth better than we found it.”

2020 - Who is My Neighbor? 

  • Emily Bendana was the keynote speaker.
  • Kelly Glenn was the endnote speaker.
  • Walk in My Shoes – Participate in a simulation experience of immigration.
  • First Friends - Ministry to Asylum Seekers - Offering dignity and compassion through visitation, support and advocacy.
  • Exodus – Refugee Immigration and Resettlement in Indianapolis, Indiana. Assisting immigrants to establish a new home in the US.
  • Experiences from Both Sides of the Mexican Border- Humanize – Accompany – Complicate Hear about the experiences of AHA students.
  • Muslim Women Beyond the Stereotype: What is Islam’s view of women?
  • Immigration and The Holocaust: A Family's Heritage and Experiences
  • My Immigration Story First hand reflections on the role immigration played in forming my world view.
  • Journey of a Dreamer – A young woman’s journey through undocumented status, Holy Cross College, Dreamer and work life.
  • Mental Health at the Border: Explore the long and short term impact family separation and border detention have on the mental health of children and parents.
  • The Long Term Impact of Colonization Learn how colonization has affected and continues to affect social and economic progress in nations that have been colonized.
  • Incarceration -The Harsh Realities of America’s Jailing System: Take a closer look at the treatment of minorities, women and detainees.
  • English as a Second Language Communicating with sensitivity across cultures.
  • Climate Refugees - Engage in a conversation on how climate change is forcing some people to leave their homes.
  • Cultural Sensitivity and Social Media – Utilizing best practices to encourage empathy, awareness and understanding


Awareness Day 2019 was preempted by the Middle States Colloquium. We had Jessica Leahy, the author of The Gift of Failure, speak at the opening assembly. Faculty members and coaches gave workshops for our staff and for colloquium visitors.

2018 - Seeking Unity in a Diverse World

  • Keynote by Consolee Nishimwe, Rwandan genocide survivor and author of Tested to the Limit
  • Haiti – facts, education, and lifestyle of Haitian people
  • Intro to Community Service in Costa Rica
  • Operation Smile #untilweheal, #changemakers
  • Go Beyond in Peru - Understand the condition of the indigenous people of Peru
  • Puerto Rico - Building communities in Puerto Rico
  • Nicaragua – Sharing life with the kids at the Mustard Seed Community
  • Give It A Shot: Why Vaccines Are Important to You
    and the World
  • Diversity and Privilege 101
  • Debunking Stereotypes
  • Global Feminist
  • Equal Pay Should be Common Cents - Star in a video to spread awareness about the gender pay gap
  • Syrian Refugee Crisis –Hear the story of how one Syrian family found a home in Wilton, CT
  • Antisemitism - Learn what you can do to make a difference
  • Global Citizenship
  • First Friends: Ministry to Asylum Seekers
  • Days for Girls - See how one organization is creating greater access to education for girls in developing countries.
  • The Horrors of America’s Jailing System
  • The Legacy of Slavery
  • We All Bleed Red – Explore the stories of several different minority groups
  • Racism – Where Are We Now?
  • A Woman's World - the enormous effect gender has on how we are treated
  • Experiences from Both Sides of the Mexican Border
  • International Human Rights –Hague International Court of Justice
  • Occupational Therapy and Solidarity in Guatemala - An alumna shares her professional skills on a service trip to Guatemala.

2017 - Personal Development: "Empowering Girls: Connecting Mind, Body, and Spirit"

  • Keynote by the Girl Rising Club highlighting issues that impact girls throughout the world, including poverty, child marriage, and lack of ready access to education
  • Writer’s Workshop to process the morning keynote through poetry writing and reflection
  • Artist’s Workshop: Create public art/awareness regarding issues that impact girls
  • Days for Girls: Make a difference in the life of a girl in a developing country through feminine hygiene solutions
  • Restore: Learn about human trafficking
  • Reaching One Child at a Time in Kenya: Students made friendship bracelets to send to Kenya with Maywood Rotary Club as part of the club’s work to improve health conditions in that country
  • Build a Healthy You: Nutrition and wellness for every day
  • Peak Performance: Learn how to stay in the game
  • Yoga for Beginners
  • Breaking the Cycle of Poverty through Education: ESL and GED courses at the SSND Educational Center
  • Feminism: Recognize oppression and constructive ways to respond
  • Body Image & Social Media – an exploration of attitudes about how we look
  • Meditation for Beginners: Control stress and anxiety, increase health, and deepen your faith.
  • Veganism: Basics and potential health benefits
  • Reflections: Pathways to Empowerment – teen theater group performance and discussion
  • Art Therapy
  • Equine Therapy
  • The Nazareth Farm Experience: summer service trip to Appalachia
  • Let the Healing Begin -- pet therapy
  • Operation Smile: Empowering youth to change the world through medical missions that provide operations for children in developing countries
  • Surviving and Thriving in Your First Year of College: Maintain balance and transition to greater independence
  • Just Us: Students who participated in the SSND border trip and the UN Commission on the Status on Women
  • Career Panel: Alumnae speakers, including a dietitian/nutritionist, a nurse practitioner, and an intern at New York University’s Rusk Rehabilitation program for Traumatic Brain Injuries.
  • Community Service: Community FoodBank of New Jersey and AHA Campus Ministry

2016 - Caring for Common Home

  • The Evolution of the Greenhouse at AHA: Follow Project Greenhouse from the dream to the reality  
  • Hydroponics – Envision a world with sustainable agriculture and food security 
  • Here Comes the Sun: Using clean energy in the greenhouse. See how the solar heater is being built by students 
  • Get Hooked: Do you know what is living and growing in the Bio lab? Hear from Environmental Science students who are raising trout.  Get hooked on trout and the importance of clean water.
  • Heavy Metals in the Meadowlands Toxic metals in the Meadowlands pose a threat to all life. 
  • Dirty Details on the Environment – What is really under our feet while walking on campus? Explore the surprising soil at AHA.
  • Global Warming and Infectious Disease: How did the zika virus became a global issue? 
  • Did you say SDGs?  Learn the basics about the Sustainable Development Goals that have been created by the United Nations
  • The Story of Stuff:  Is overconsumption impacting us and our environment?Hackensack Riverkeeper: Protecting, preserving & restoring the Hackensack River Watershed - and more: How people can get more involved in environmental & enviro-justice work. 
  • There’ll Come A Day – Be inspired. Appreciate the environment through the power of songs. Be ready to lift your voice and to be heard.
  • Rock On: How the study of geology helps us understand the challenges we now face as stewards of the Earth. Are we on the verge of the sixth mass extinction?  (Examine specimens fossils, rocks etc.)
  • Farm to Table: Sustainable Farming Learn the value of eating locally grown food that’s in season and how to respect the earth as well.
  • Guests in God’s House: Greenfaith Advocacy and appreciation for the environment will be the focus of this workshop.
  • Photographing Nature See photos learn techniques, ask questions.  Bring your camera.
  • New Jersey Rare Wildlife   Gain an overview of the rare wildlife in NJ and how to protect them.
  • Veganism Fostering a greater appreciation for all creation by one’s everyday choices
  • Butterflies for Beginners –Identify the butterflies in your backyard
  • The Environmental Crisis Through the Eyes of a Peace Corp Volunteer. Gain an appreciation of the impact of climate change on the poorest countries
  • Why is Pope Francis concerned about Planet Earth our common home? 
  • The Unknown Palisades (all 10th grade)
  • Endangered NJ (all 9th grade)
  • Green Careers: Career Panel for the Class of 2017 (all 11th grade)

2015 - Making a Difference Close to Home

  • The Future of Renewable Energy
  • Experiences on Both Sides of the Mexican Border
  • How Climate Change Affects What We Eat
  • What Do Therapy Dogs Really Do?
  • ESL: Giving the Keys to a New Life in a New Country
  • Creating a Healthy Lifestyle in College and Beyond (Seniors Only)
  • Reflections: Why Should I Serve Others?
  • Grow a Row: Healthy Food in Hungry Stomachs
  • Family Promise: Addressing issues of Homeless Families in Bergen County
  • Father English Center, Paterson: Advocating for People in Need in Paterson
  • Caroline House: Immigrant Struggles
  • SSND Educational Center: Emporwering Women to Make a Difference
  • First Friends: Ministry to Asylum Seekers
  • Hackensack River Kepper: Caring for the Hackensack Watershed
  • Pascack Valley Meals on Wheels: Meeting the Needs of Homebound Neighbors
  • Center for Hope and Safety: Helping to Break the Cycle of Domestic Violence and Dating Abuse
  • Bergen County Volunteer Center: Learn How YOu Can Share Your Gifts; Volunteer
  • St. Ann's Soup Kitchen and Pantry Serving the City of Newark
  • Hunger 101: Learning the Truth About Hunger Here in NJ
  • Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization (MEVO): Promoting Environmental Sustainability in Bergen County
  • Read to Know: If You Can Read You Can Serve
  • Sharing the Arts - Special Needs Kids in the Spotlight Through the Performing Arts
  • New Jersey Recovery Advocates Inc.: Support for families touched by addiction
  • Englewood Hospital Volunteering for a Healthy Community
  • Economic Inequality: Fighting for a Fairer Potluck Party (All Sophomores)
  • Community Food Bank of NJ/AHA Campus Ministry (All 9th Grade Students)
  • 11th Grade - Doing Well While Doing Good (All Juniors)

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