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Selena Gomez

How did you first learn about WE and know you wanted to get involved?

I heard about kids who are giving back and ultimately changing the world
through local and global action and I was inspired by everything that they were doing—I wanted to join alongside them and lend my support to WE. I’ve had the opportunity to speak on the WE Day stage and I'm so proud to celebrate young people sparking social change. With WE, we are an unstoppable movement dedicated to a brighter and better tomorrow. Their enthusiasm and impact is infectious.

They make the world a more hopeful place and they encourage me and all of my friends to do the same. Through WE Charity, I had a platform to be real and connect to others. I could share some of my struggles and health challenges and so many people reached out and offered their support. Others told me how hearing my story on the WE Day stage helped them find their own courage, while it helped other people want to get involved and donate. These people reminded me how lucky I am to have a platform where I can share and pay the love forward. Through WE Charity, I’m incredibly excited to support girls education in Kenya and Africa.

Can you describe some of the activity / activities you’ve done so far with WE?

I’ve had the incredible opportunity to speak at and host many WE Days and share my story and my passion for all the young people taking action on issues they care about. Speaking at WE Day is truly a life-changing experience. Sharing that moment with thousands of my peers always leaves me feeling incredibly inspired. I'm constantly blown away by the determination in every single student at WE Day—the energy they bring is unforgettable. This generation is changing the world, and I'm humbled to be a part of this special day with them. I especially care about supporting girls, and girls who do not have access to education, like those WE works with in Kenya. I hope that through my support, I can help more girls get quality education and follow their dreams.

“Everyday, WE Charity leaves me feeling inspired and hopeful. The youth have an incredible positive and passionate attitude for making real change in the world. And I believe that through supporting girls’ education in countries like Kenya, together we can make sure that they have opportunities that many of us take for granted.”

What causes are you most passionate about?

I’ve been speaking out about lupus—about my situation—to raise awareness of the disease, so people see a doctor right away or if they feel like they have any symptoms. And, just so that—honestly—people can understand what it means to live with lupus. I also want people to know why research is so important and why we must support the scientists who bring the promise of new discoveries. I’d like to see the day when all young women can realize their dreams of life without lupus. This is why I’m committed to the Lupus Research Alliance, and why I founded the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research - so that none of us are alone. I just hope we can do something for all the younger people who need to know what this means.

Mental well-being is also a cause close to my heart. I’ve had a lot of issues with depression and anxiety, and I’ve been very vocal about it. I’ve worked hard to get a diagnosis, to get help, and to speak out in the hopes that I am helping and inspiring others.

I’m also extremely passionate about girls’ education and making sure that no matter where you are from and what your circumstances are, you have a chance to go to school, and attend middle school and graduate from high school. I’m looking forward to my ongoing involvement with WE Charity to help make this happen for girls.

What advice would you give young women today?

“Young people all have pressure that they have to deal with every day… with school, with work, with friends, and with family. I had that pressure and at one point I gave in. I lost sight of who I was. I know what it’s like to be judged and to be put down. I know what it’s like to have other people form opinions of you without even knowing you, trying to dim your light. I listened to opinions of other people and tried to change who I am because I thought that others would accept me more. The thing is, I don’t really know how to be anything, but myself. So my advice would be, please stay true to yourself; remain who you are and know that we have each other’s back—all of us have each other’s backs. The trick is to focus on the love. We all deserve more than we think, and in the end, nobody remembers the haters– nobody. Nothing defines you but what you leave behind and the lives you touch on the way. Believe in you, believe in each other.”

“Through my involvement with WE Charity I’ve had the opportunity to connect with some incredible young people. My message to them is to get involved and to care. And please, please just be kind to each other—love and inspire people because, let’s change the game. And let’s help others, whether it’s your friends, or your family or your community, or young people on the other side of the world, like the girls in Kenya who need access to education so they can follow their dreams."