February 22nd, 2012
05:21 PM ET

I am America: Hollywood High now a diverse high school

By Chuck Conder, CNN

Los Angeles, California (CNN) –For the better part of a century, Hollywood High School has been known as the high school of the stars: Judy Garland, Carol Burnett, Sarah Jessica Parker and James Garner are among the famous alumni.

But Judy Garland might not recognize her old alma mater today.

When she attended Hollywood High in the 1930’s the student body was almost all white.

Today, it is predominantly Latino, and made up of teens whose families came to America from every corner of the world. “Hollywood has always struck me as a place where it doesn’t matter where you are from,” said Principal Jaime Morales, who immigrated from Nicaragua. “You are welcome here.”

School valedictorian Karla Samayoa’s parents fled political turmoil in El Salvador. Though she was born in America, she still feels a strong connection to her Salvadoran roots.

Read the full story from the In America blog
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