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Selena Gomez encourages teens to love themselves first during a surprise high school visit

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Los Angeles high school students received a surprise visitor on Thursday - Selena Gomez! The Hands to Myself singer teamed up with the Step Up Foundation and its national charity partner Coach, of which she is a celebrity ambassador, to celebrate World Kindness Day by helping to spread the after-school program’s message of empowerment. Sharing a picture from the outing on social media, the actress wrote, “@instagram is celebrating world kindness day and I got to spend it with people who fully will change our world one day. @coach introduced me to @stepupwomensnetwork which is an after school organization that encourages girls to believe that they have the capability to do anything they set their mind to. It's crazy to me how much they are willing put others before themselves. #CoachXStepUP #DreamBig.”

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Selena joined Coach's CEO Victor Luis and Step Up CEO Jenni Luke at the event and helped lead a Step Up curriculum lesson to help students realize their potential and to promote confidence. "I am truly thrilled to be involved with Coach and their support of Step Up," the Disney Channel alum said in a statement to People magazine. "Step Up's mission to empower young women is personally important to me and something even more crucial in under-served communities. Working with the young women I met today was an inspirational experience I will never forget."

While mingling with students, Selena encouraged them to "love yourself first" - advice she is taking herself. The 24-year-old told Today's Sheinelle Jones, "Right now, I'm actually enjoying finding moments for myself," adding, "I like having a little mystery to where I'm at. I think that makes me feel very empowered, very in control of where I'm at."


Selena surprised students in Los Angeles

"I'm taking time to have a personal life," the actress continued. "I'm doing things that I love that I'm passionate about that I care about…it just makes me happy." Selena recently undertook a passion project, executively producing Netflix's upcoming series Thirteen Reasons Why. The muscian recently opened up to the New York Times about her new role as an executive producer saying, "I could do any tomboy/teen princess movie in the world if I wanted to. I could do those for years. But I want to be a part of projects that have value, that really matter. And it’s really hard to do that. Sometimes I feel defeated. I’ll audition for a part that I feel very passionate about, meet with people, tell them I’m willing to go places. I think they think I won’t go there."

Though Selena noted, "To be honest, I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon for me. I think I look really young and image-wise, it’s difficult for people to grasp. But early on, my mom taught me that sometimes you just have to create those projects for yourself. That’s what I want this to be: a launching pad."

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