As high school and college graduates around the country prepare to celebrate their accomplishments virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, Selena Gomez is joining the many celebrities sharing words of encouragement and advice. While making an appearance during Define American's YouTube livestream commencement, the "Boyfriend" hitmaker addressed immigrant students while acknowledging the unique challenges these grads have had to face. Selena Gomez’s graduation speech to the Class of 2020 included a personal anecdote as she reflected on what it means to be a third-generation American-Mexican.
On Saturday, May 23, the singer helped students around the country kick off the pomp and circumstance of graduation virtually during the #Immigrad 2020 Virtual Commencement. While the 27-year-old acknowledged that the celebration might look a little different in 2020 than in years prior due to social distancing guidelines, she emphasized that the significance of the day and the accomplishments were "very real" to the graduates, their families, and their communities.
"I want you guys to know that you matter. And that your experiences are a huge part of the American story," she said during the livestream. Gomez emphasized that graduating can have extra significance for immigrants students, saying that her family had "set into motion" her American story when they immigrated from Mexico.
She said, "I'm a proud third-generation American-Mexican, and my family's journey and their sacrifices helped me get me to where I am today." Gomez, who was home-schooled, earned her high school diploma in 2010.
"Mine is not a unique story," she added, congratulating the studnts watching for taking action to "open up [their] worlds."
"Each and every one of you have a similar tale of becoming an American," Gomez continued. "Regardless of where your family is from, regardless of your immigration status, you have taken action to earn an education, to make your families proud and to open up your worlds."
The "Hands To Myself" hitmaker concluded her speech with a heartwarming send-off, saying, "So I'm sending all of my love to you guys today and congratulations, and I hope that you guys are set off to be everything that you want to be."
Graduation festivities this year might not be what most students anticipated, but stars like Selena Gomez are helping to give the Class of 2020 the virtual celebration they deserve by recognizing graduates' accomplishments and helping them set off on their next adventure with words of advice and encouragement.