Lena Hansen
March 07, 2018 04:07 PM

Jennifer Lopez has a history of making glamorous — and sometimes provocative — entrances on awards-show red carpets. So fans who tuned into the 2018 Oscars pre-show to see what kind of dazzling dress the superstar would wear had to deal with disappointment.

However, they’ll be pleased to know JLo and boyfriend Alex Rodriguez skipped the Academy Awards for a good reason: Teaching teens in the Bronx how to be business-savvy and make wise financial choices.


Lopez with Project Destined team contestants the day of the 2018 Oscars
(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)

The event was hosted by the nonprofit organization Project Destined, whose mission is to “promote financial literacy, leadership development and access to mentorship opportunities, yielding increased competitiveness of urban youth.”

Lopez acknowledged the awards-show hoopla on Instagram with a TBT photo of herself backstage at the 2016 Oscars — ensconced in an overflowing champagne-colored gown. But this year, the Shades of Blue star, who grew up in the Bronx, spent Hollywood’s biggest day giving back to her community rather than being showered in paparazzi flashes.

The entrepreneur also shared photos of her meeting with more than 50 teens, who heard lessons from her life experiences. “So today I spent the day in the Bronx at Yankee stadium with a very special group of people for a very impactful project called @projectdestined,” she wrote on Instagram. “The project teaches financial literacy to children in neighborhoods like I grew up in… so people from Harvard business school teach and mentor these kids on how to buy and own real estate and by the end of the program they own a part of a building in their own community in which the profits they make go toward their college educations…it shows them they have a choice they don’t have to be a tenant…you can be an owner!”


Rodriguez and Lopez
(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)

Lopez seemed to enjoy the dialogue with her young mentees. “It’s a game-changer for anyone to be apart of this program! I am proud to be a part of it along with @arod,” she added in her Instagram message. Lopez, who is a mom to twins Max and Emme, 10, sought to inspire the crowd with the message that “anything is possible and the sky is the limit.”


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