Selena Gomez went back to her roots and surprised students at her old middle school in Texas.
On Monday, the award-winning artist went back to where it all began at Danny Jones Middle School in Mansfield, Texas, stopping by her old stomping grounds to encourage current students and reconnect with some of her past teachers.
“Hello, students at Danny Jones Middle School. This is Selena Gomez talking to you,” the 27-year-old said over the intercom, in a video shared by the school on the Mansfield Independent School District’s website.
According to the school, Gomez had returned to her hometown to film for a new documentary about her childhood.
“This trip, I wanted to take my best friend Courtney, and also some of my people from my label, just to show them where I grew up and how proud I am of where I’m from,” Gomez explained. “Some of my teachers I got to see again, and they were part of my life for so long.”
While the former Disney Channel star greeted students in a montage of videos — taking selfies and granting hugs — her seventh-grade basketball coach recalled the type of student the singer was when she walked the halls.
“As a student, Selena was so humble and she was very kind,” Gray said. “She had a really kind, soft spirit. Hard, hard worker. Real humble. Just a real neat kid.”
Gray also described the day Gomez told her she was withdrawing from school to move to Florida and pursue her acting career. “I remember the day that she was leaving Jones,” Gray recalled. “She said ‘Oh I’m just going to Florida.'”
“And I said ‘How come?’ She said, ‘Oh I’m just going to be in a little Disney film.’” Gray added. “I said, ‘Oh. OK.’ Because sometimes middle school kids kind of exaggerate.”
The “Kill Em with Kindness” singer ended her visit with some words of encouragement for current students at the middle school. “What I would tell them is that it’s really hard but it’s worth it,” she said. “I wasn’t a straight-A student by all means, but I think it’s really important.”
“I think it also I think it’s also important to make sure you’re being kind to someone,” she added. “If you see them eating alone — like I did while I was here — just say ‘Hi’ and just encourage them in their school work and know that anything’s possible.”