This month, five students and two faculty members from the Academy of the Holy Angels will spend their Winter Break getting an up-close look at immigration issues in Douglas, an Arizona town near the border of the United States and Mexico.

Grace MacNeill of Ridgefield Park, Lucy McAuliffe of Allendale, Sydney Otis of Upper Saddle River, Demitria “Demi” Poulos of Englewood, and Ayse Seker of Park Ridge will take this Mission Awareness Process trip. Their faculty companions will be Mission and Ministry/Religion Teacher Joan Connelly and Religious Studies Department Chair Carol Fay.

Fay explained that the travelers from AHA will visit a group of School Sisters of Notre Dame who are working with immigrants and residents of the communities near the international border. She indicated that the SSNDs welcome small groups to learn about their work through the MAP program.

“We will be immersing ourselves in the immigration process, learning about the migrants who risk their lives trying to get here, the barriers to their entrance, the immigration court process, the work of those who enforce immigration law, those who work with migrants who are returned to Mexico, (and) projects on the Mexican side of the border that try to offer opportunities so that people can support their families without leaving the country,” Fay summarized.

This five-day MAP trip will allow students to discover the facts about immigration at the Mexican border. The students may also spend time filling water tanks in the Mexican desert. Fay pointed out that the harsh desert setting is “another important part of the experience.”

This month’s trip is a return voyage for Fay, who brought a group to Arizona two years ago.

Since 1879, thousands of women have passed through the portals of Academy of the Holy Angels high school, the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. 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. Our goal is to provide each girl 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 giving service to others.

- Jennifer Crusco, the Communications Assistant, The Academy of the Holy Angels         

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