Following a nation-wide talent search, Disney discovered Selena Gomez at the age of 12-years-old. The starlet was cast in recurring roles on the Disney Channel's Suite Life of Zach and Cody and Hannah Montana before being given the lead Wizards of Waverly Place, in which Gomez played a young witch helping her parents run a sandwich shop. The show became an immediate hit ,drawing an audience of 5.7 million for its debut, making her the next Disney darling after the likes of Miley Cyrus.
While continuing her success on Wizards, Gomez founded the group Selena Gomez and the Scene, whose debut album went on to sell over 1 million copies. In 2010, she made her film debut as a major role in Remona and Beezus, based on the popular children's books.
The next year Gomez went on to do what she is now most famous for: become Justin Bieber's girlfriend. The two teen stars appeared together at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, confirming what entertainment media had been speculating about for months about the two.
Gomez recently downplayed their relationship to Teen Vogue, saying "I don't take anything in my personal life too seriously. I have great friends and a solid group of people I love. I feel like everything else will come organically."
Gomez became the youngest ever Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF when she was named spokeswoman for Ghana's 2009 "Trick or Treat" campaign. She is also active with ENOUGH, a project by the Center for American Progress to raise awareness and end genocide in parts of Africa.