Español. On Thursday, June 7th, 2018, Abraham Lincoln High School graduate, Gissell Jiménez, was selected as the recipient of this year’s Andrus Opportunity Award along with $5,000 to help her pay for her education. The award is named after AARP founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, who served as principal of Lincoln High from 1916 to 1944.
AARP officially announced the funding of the Andrus Opportunity Award, a scholarship that would be awarded to a college-bound Lincoln High student each year for ten years, at a gala marking the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln High School, in 2013 AARP pledged $50,000 to support the scholarship fund, and this year’s recipient is the sixth student to receive the award.
To be considered for the award, graduating seniors must submit an essay and meet specific criteria. After the essays are independently reviewed and scored by the Essay Committee, one winner is selected.
This year’s winner, Gissell Jiménez, has led many social activists’ events through her involvement in M.E.Ch.A. , and dedicated countless volunteer hours with the Youth United for Community Action program, as well as tutoring after school in science and math. She was also the president of the school’s Robotics team for three years. Her Advanced Placement Biology and Environmental Science Teacher said of her “Gissell is well rounded in many sciences including Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science and Engineering. Gissell has a natural engineering mind. She is able to look at a situation and see the answer quickly as well as alternative solutions.” She added, “Coming from an immigrant family and being the first to complete a college education, we all have high hopes in this little but might Lincoln Tiger… as she continues her education in the field of bioengineering and the biomedical field.”
AARP has a unique and powerful connection to the Lincoln High: 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.”
The Andrus Opportunity Award was presented by AARP Associate State Director Adriana Mendoza, who told the crowd of graduates and their families, “Dr. Andrus retired from this amazing school 74 years ago, and today we honor a Lincoln High scholar in her memory. Dr. Andrus was a woman who, although warm and caring, was also an activist and organizer who got things done and inspired others to do more – especially her beloved students here at Lincoln High. She firmly believed in the selfless act of giving and caring for those in need, providing an inspiring example for all future Lincoln High graduates.”
Adriana added, “This year, we are proudly celebrating AARP’s 60th anniversary and will bring the celebration here, to Lincoln High, later this year. So stay tuned!”