Who knew that helping others could be so good for your health? According to a recent study from Carnegie Mellon, there’s a also found a direct correlation between volunteer work and decreased risk of high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. We’re ready to give more of our time to our community after hearing this enlightening news!
We're also drawing inspiration from some of Hollywood’s brightest young Latina starlets, who have yet to lose sight of what’s important… giving back. Despite their tremendous success and hectic schedules, celebrities like Naya Rivera, Selena Gomez, and Bella Thorne still manage to make a difference by donating their time and energy to help make the world a better place. Here’s a look at 16 young Latina stars who lend their time to important causes.
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Naya Rivera, 26
Naya Rivera has earned critical acclaim for her portrayal of lesbian Cheerio Santana Lopez on Glee, especially from LGBT organizations like GLAAD and The Trevor Project. In return, the devout Christian actress has donated her time to the charities. Last year, Rivera served as a co-host of the GLAAD Media Awards and appeared in an anti-LGBT bullying PSA in 2011.
Selena Gomez, 20
She’s one of young Hollywood’s brightest stars with her impressive resume of music and acting projects. Despite her busy schedule Selena Gomez still manages to dedicate her time and energy to important causes. Along with being an active UNICEF goodwill ambassador, the former Disney Channel star has been involved in numerous charities, including St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, DoSomething.org, RAISE Hope For Congo and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.
Demi Lovato, 20
During her Disney Channel starlet days, Demi Lovato was actively involved in Disney’s Friends for Change campaign, which aimed to promote environmentally friendly behavior. Since then the “Heart Attack” singer has continued to maintain a busy philanthropic schedule. These days, Lovato has dedicated her time to anti-bullying campaigns like Mean Stinks, a campaign aimed at getting students to "gang up for good" against girl-to-girl bullying.
Bella Thorne, 15
Bella Thorne knows how to Shake It Up when it comes to giving back to the community. The Disney Channel star supports several diverse charities like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Humane Society. Most recently, she’s become involved in The Nomad Organization, which provides food, medical supplies and educational opportunities to children in Africa.
Victoria Justice, 20
Sure, she’s volunteered him time to support organizations like the United Nations Foundation, which supports a number of causes like AIDS awareness, equality and environmental responsibility. But Victoria Justice’s most beloved charity is Girl Up. "I’m so excited to become a Champion for Girl Up and to help make a difference for girls who aren’t given the same opportunities that most of us take for granted. I know that there are plenty of girls throughout the country who are just like me—ready and motivated to stand up for the rights and well being of girls in the developing world. I am confident that, together, we will rise to the challenge,” said Justice after joining the campaign in September 2010.
Christian Serratos, 22
Back in 2009, shortly after Twlight helped raise her Hollywood stock, Christian Serratos became the youngest celebrity to bare her body for PETA's I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur campaign; she was only 19 at the time. Since then she’s returned for other projects for the animal rights organization, including a vampire-themed campaign to promote going vegetarian. “It was a big deal to me, being an animal lover that I realized what I was eating, and I didn't separate myself from, say, my animals, my pets," said Serratos of her own decision to become a vegetarian.
Lourdes Leon, 16
Lourdes Leon has been in the spotlight since her birth, thanks to her mother Madonna’s international fame. And the Queen of Pop’s daughter has been actively involved in charity since she learned how to walk, participating in various philanthropic projects with her mother, including visiting orphanages in Malawi, helping raise money for health-conscious organizations like Bent of Learning and attending United Nations events with Madge.
Jessica Sanchez, 17
Since rising to acclaim as last year’s runner-up on American Idol, Jessica Sanchez has been a staple at high-profile events like the NBA Finals, performing impressive renditions of the national anthem. But the pint-sized powerhouse singer has also shared her voice at charity events like the Carousel Ball of Hope, City of Hope Spirit of Life Awards Gala and the Trevor Live event hosted by The Trevor Project.
Francia Raisa, 24
The Secret Life of the American Teenager star Francia Raisa, who admits to not having an easy life growing up, volunteers at the Los Angeles Mission, which helps the homeless in Southern California. And, she even rallies her fellow actor friends to help mentor less-fortunate children in L.A. "As actors, we're not interested in partying our lives away. We are so appreciative of everything we have, and giving back is the best way to show our appreciation,” said Raisa in an interview with USA Today. “This is the other side of celebrity where we have the power to make a difference."
Daniella Monet, 24
Daniella Monet probably isn’t too popular with science teachers. The Victorious star, who has been vegan for more than a decade, once posed for a PETA campaign encouraging students to exercise their right to refuse to dissect animals in their schools. And she once tweeted her support for the animal rights group, saying “I could not be more proud and GRATEFUL for all that #PETA and friends of peta do to help protect the right of our voiceless animal friends.”
Marlen Esparza, 23
Marlen Esparza, who won an Olympic bronze medal in women’s boxing at the 2012 London Games, has landed endorsement deals with brands like CoverGirl, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola during her career. But the boxing superstar most recently appeared in a more philanthropic campaign earlier this year. This January, Esparza starred in English and Spanish ads aimed at promoting PETA’s Never Be Silent campaign, which encouraged the public to speak up when they witness animal abuse. "It's totally unfair what we do to animals who have no voice, who can't say anything, who can't do anything about it. And since they can't help themselves, someone needs to," she says. "Call the police …. Just make sure that you don't forget about the animal, because you wouldn't want anyone to forget about you if you couldn't talk."
Josie Loren, 25
On ABC Family’s gymnastics series Make It or Break It, Josie Loren’s character Kaylie Cruz developed an eating disorder while training for the Olympics. The Cuban-American actress, who received tremendous fan response to the storyline, used the experience to raise awareness about the eating disorders and encourage those dealing with anorexia/bulimia to seek help. “I just want people to understand that it’s such a prevalent issue. Girls everywhere are dealing with it. They’re not alone. Anorexia comes from a feeling that you have of inadequacy, that you’re not enough, and girls all around the world at all different ages experience that feeling,” said Loren in an interview. “It’s just so important for them to know they’re not alone. And also to see what anorexia can do to you and all of the negative consequences that can come from that.”
Daniella Bobadilla, 19
Daniella Bobadilla isn’t letting a plum role on Charlie Sheen’s FX series Anger Management go to her head. The Mexican-born actress gives back to the community by donating her personal time to charities like the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds research to help find cures for kids with cancer.
Camila Banus, 22
Soap opera star Camila Banus, who currently stars on Days of Our Lives, enjoys being sassy onscreen. But in real life she’s down-to-earth and believes in giving back to the community, participating in various charity events throughout the year that benefit organizations like The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Madison de la Garza, 11
Like her big sister Demi Lovato, Madison de la Garza spends her time off-screen participating in charitable causes. The former Desperate Housewives star has been actively involved in the AllyKatz, which lets “girls speak out and change the world.” She’s even joined her sister in supporting the projects by DoSomething.org.