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Recognize Her from the Block? A Young J.Lo Urges Kids to 'Be Extraordinary'

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Jennifer Lopez had some help getting into the entertainment industry. An alum of the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx, Lopez credits the club’s “K company” performing arts program with teaching her to sing and dance.

“When I started going there, it was the first time I sang, danced and performed in front of an audience. I wanted to be there every day,” Lopez said Thursday at the Times Square unveiling of a Boys and Girls Club billboard featuring a throwback picture of her as a child. “They taught me how to be disciplined and be perseverant and to believe in my God-given talents. They encouraged me to be great in whatever I decided to do. And they taught me that I could do whatever I wanted.”

Her billboard message says it all: “Be Extraordinary.” And, she told PEOPLE, she may even bring her twins back to the Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx. “I think it’s really, really important to work hard … Being able to accomplish something with dedication and hard work and commitment. That is something I would like them to learn as well,” she said.

Lopez is among 25 celebrities, including Denzel Washington, Ashanti, and Mario Lopez, participating in the BGCA’s youth advocacy campaign. “When Denzel asked me to participate, I had to say yes. I am honored and delighted to be part of the campaign,” she said. “Please join us in helping all kids be great.”

Jennifer Lopez’s Boys and Girls Club Billboard

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