Los Angeles, CA – March 2017: It’s a lesson these teenage girls will never forget!

On Thursday, March 23, 2017, superstar singer, actress, and model Selena Gomez partnered with Coach Inc., a leading New York design house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands, to surprise two Los Angeles high schools with a special visit supporting the mission of the Coach Foundation; to inspire and mentor teen girls to dream big.

The surprise appearance of Gomez, the new face of the brand, with Coach CEO Victor Luis, raised awareness of Coach’s national charity partner, Step Up and its goal of empowering young women from under-resourced communities.

The two Los Angeles schools were Alliance Margaret M. Bloomfield High School and Alliance Leichtman-Levine Environmental Science High School.

Selena Gomez said, “I am truly thrilled to be involved with Coach and their support of Step Up. 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 girls were aware that Luis would be the guest mentor of the day, they were surprised by Gomez, who joined Step Up CEO Jenni Luke in leading the young women in a Step Up curriculum lesson designed to promote confidence and celebrate the global girl community.

These events marked one of the pillars of the overall commitment made by the Coach Foundation to enable Step Up to expand its reach and bring its after-school Confidence Curriculum and mentorship programming to a total of six cities, tripling the number of girls served annually by 2020.

Step Up CEO, Jenni Luke said, “Step Up aims to inspire girls and when we ask our girls to name an inspiring woman, Selena Gomez’s name pops up more than you could imagine. Her participation through the Coach Foundation really helps underscore our message to the girls to realize their capabilities and fulfill their aspirations.” Luke continues, “The Coach Foundation is making it possible – and fun – for Step Up to reach to even more girls around the country.”

About Coach Foundation: In honor of Coach’s 75th anniversary, in November 2016, the brand announced a new vision for the Coach Foundation, pledging $3 million in grants over three years to Step Up to support the expansion of programming in under-resourced urban communities.

This support will ultimately connect 3,000 girls annually in six cities to a network of female mentors,. Founded in 1998 and beginning teen empowerment programming in 2006, Step Up has worked with teen girls in the U.S. offering remarkable after-school and mentorship programs to help students find their voices, sharpen their sense of self-worth, and explore different possibilities for their future. Through their work, 98-100% of the teens who actively participate in Step Up graduate from high school and enroll in college. Coach Foundation has embraced Step Up’s mission to empower girls to accomplish their goals and is happy to partner with Gomez in playing a substantial role to aid in providing young women with the tools needed to reach their full potential.

About Step Up: Step Up believes all girls should have the opportunity and resources to fulfill their aspirations. Through after-school and weekend mentorship programs, the organization works to ensure girls in under-resourced communities graduate from high school confident, college-bound and career-focused. Step Up’s programs provide teen girls with four years of curriculum-guided social and emotional skill development, support from mentors, and access to opportunities that will help them envision and accomplish their ambitions.

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