How this WE Day speaker inspired 16,000 students in under 10 minutes.

By Kathleen Lane-Smith


The countdown has begun! With the WE Day broadcast set to air on CBS August 4th, we’re ticking down the seconds until five-time WE Day speaker Selena Gomez takes the stage to host the television special for a second time.

In anticipation of the upcoming broadcast, we dug through the WE archives to pull one of Selena’s most-loved WE Day speeches.


Watch Selena’s full speech.


It was 2014, buzz from The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex was still in the air a year after its premiere, and her first compilation album, For You, was in preparation for a winter release. That spring Selena—dressed in a red pants suit—took the WE Day stage in Los Angeles to share her story, and by doing so, encouraged her captive audience to try and make the world just a little bit better.

Below, the 10 moments from Selena’s speech that moved us.


1. When she told an arena full of kids she wanted to be real and honest with them, not paparazzi.

Quote. I want to be honest with all of you. Unquote.

2. When she told us where she came from. She shared the story of her mother working four jobs to keep the family afloat, and how her mom helped her achieve her dreams. 

Quote. And I love her so much, because she’s taught me those values. Unquote.

3. When we learned that a casting director once told her she couldn’t carry a show, and that instead of being discouraged, she thought of how her mom said to trust herself.

quote. I realized that if I didn’t believe that I could do it, I wouldn’t be able to be here. Unquote.

4. When she voiced how inspired she was by the young people who had earned their way to WE Day.

Quote.You inspire me to be better. And we should inspire each other to be better. Unquote.

5. When she was real about the pressure she was under, “you gotta be sexy, you gotta be cute, you gotta be nice, you gotta be all these things,” before opening up about how she found her own way forward.

Quote. I realized I didn’t know how to be anything but myself. Unquote.

6. When she got really excited and pumped up WE like the movement was a sports team.

Quote. Let’s do it. Let’s change the game. Unquote.

7. When she gave us a pep talk and encouraged us to keep going.

Quote. Please just remain who you are and know that we have each other’s back. Unquote.

8. When she told us what she’s been proudest of in her life.

Quote. I’ve learned from my mistakes. Unquote.

9. When she shared her hopes and dreams.

Quote. So I hope I can inspire you to just trust yourself, and to love and be loved. Unquote.

10. And when she told the crowd of young people—each one making a difference in their own way—to be proud of themselves.

Quote. This is such a beautiful thing you are doing. Be proud of yourself. Unquote.


And don’t forget to tune into the WE Day Special Friday, August 4 (8/7c) on CBS.

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