Pop star Selena Gomez gave an unpublicized virtual commencement address Saturday to college and high school graduates from immigrant families.
"Congratulations to all the immigrads!" the 27-year-old singer-actress said on a video at the YouTube channel of the nonprofit advocacy group Define American, which along with four other organizations hosted the commencement. "I know that this is a virtual ceremony, but it is very real, and it's very real to all the families and all of you and your communities," Gomez continued. "I want you guys to know that you matter and that your experiences are a huge part of the American story."
Gomez — whose father is of Mexican descent and whose mother, who was adopted, was born in Texas of partly Italian descent — added, "When my family came here from Mexico they set into motion my American story, as well as theirs. 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. Mine is not a unique story. Each and every one of you has a similar tale of becoming an American."
She went on to say, "So regardless of where your family's from, regardless of your immigration status, you have taken action to earn an education, to make your families proud and to open up your world. 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."
The singer has not commented on social media, and her appearance was not listed among the speakers, which included "Roswell, New Mexico" TV star Jeanine Mason as keynote.
In the all-star "#Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020" livestream of May 15, Gomez, speaking remotely form her home, told graduates, "I want to say, it's OK not to know what to do with the rest of your life. It's a journey to find your direction or your passions, so don't get frustrated by the mistakes and setbacks as they happen to all of us."
Gomez's most recent album, "Rare," hit no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart in January, with the cut "Lose You To Love Me" reaching no. 1 on the singles chart.