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AARP Joins Lincoln High School’s Centennial Celebration

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Over the past one hundred years, generations of students of every race, ethnicity, and income have passed through the doors of Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles. This Saturday, August 24th, AARP California will join alumni and the community in Montebello for a gala dinner and dance to celebrate the school's centennial.

AARP has a unique and powerful connection to the school: Our founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, served as principal from 1916 to 1944 when it was known as East Los Angeles High School. Located in a transitional immigrant community, the school served a diverse, multicultural population. Dr. Andrus decided to rename the school after Abraham Lincoln to remind students of a man who overcame humble beginnings to become president. She established service programs and school activities to foster leadership and community. Perhaps most presciently, she added a wrought iron gateway into the school, with one word arching above: "Opportunity."

Today, opportunity remains the undercurrent of Lincoln High School. It has an illustrious list of alumni, including actor Robert Young, known for "Father Knows Best" and "Marcus Welby, M.D."; John Huston, director of The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, and many other films; Kenny Washington, the first African-American player to integrate the NFL; and California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, who will be honored with the Andrus Opportunity Award on Saturday evening. One student will also be chosen to receive the first Andrus Opportunity Award scholarship. This $5,000 scholarship recognizes not just academic achievement, but also the student's potential.

In 2007, AARP named Lincoln High School as the first recipient of the Ethel Percy Andrus Legacy Award. The $100,000 award established a performing arts program for the school and funded the refurbishment of its auditorium, renamed the Ethel Percy Andrus Theater in honor of the school's former principal. AARP is proud to continue the legacy of Dr. Andrus through our relationship with Lincoln High School.

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