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Application window for 2020 mentoring program at Walt Disney World Resort now open at DisneyDreamersAcademy.com
(Black PR Wire) LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – One Hundred students from across the country celebrated the conclusion of the 12th annual Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine, with an emotional commencement ceremony featuring inspirational speeches by Walt Disney World Resort President George A. Kalogridis and television-radio personality Steve Harvey. The teens, or Disney Dreamers as they are called, were selected from among thousands of applicants to participate in the four-day, once-in-a-lifetime educational mentoring program that takes place annually at Walt Disney World Resort.
Since its inception in 2007, more than 1,200 students have participated in the career-discovery journey that is Disney Dreamers Academy. Students are inspired to discover new career opportunities, pursue their dreams and interact with participating celebrities and motivational speakers.
Disney Dreamers Academy is an important part of Disney’s commitment to helping the next generation of young people by inspiring them at a critical time in their development. The Disney Dreamers Academy theme is “Be100,” encouraging teens to be positive, to be “all in” and to carry what they learn back with them so they can achieve their full purpose and make a difference in the lives of others.
Along with a parent or guardian, each Disney Dreamer received an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort where they learned important networking skills, participated in hands-on career workshops and created fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Highlights of the 2019 event included:
- Participation in the iconic Magic Kingdom parade, where Dreamers served as honorary grand marshals
- A Dumbo-themed welcome party before viewing Walt Disney Pictures’ live-action feature film, “Dumbo,” that opens March 29, 2019
- Career-oriented workshops that provided students with hands-on experiences
- Interactions with professionals highlighting career paths ranging from medicine to entertainment to engineering and more
- Networking and dress-for-success sessions
- Mentoring by Walt Disney World executives, ESSENCE executives and other top professionals
- Motivational presentations and tips to help teens and their parents achieve success
- Celebrity panels featuring Marcus Scribner (ABC’ s black-ish), Ruth Carter (Academy Award-winning costume designer for “Black Panther”), Miles Brown (ABC’s “black-ish”) and JD McCrary (voice of young Simba in Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Lion King” opening July 19)
- Opportunities to make memories in the Walt Disney World theme parks
“This is among the most rewarding events we host at Walt Disney World,” said Tracey D. Powell, Disney Parks and Resorts vice president and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “Seeing firsthand how these teens are impacted over the course of a few days is an incredible experience and reminder of why we remain committed to this event.”
“My hope is these Disney Dreamers realize there are no limits to what they can achieve,” said Steve Harvey. “All the amazing people they had the chance to hear from this weekend had to start somewhere, and I am excited to see where the dreams of these 100 students take them. That is why I enjoy partnering with Disney on this program every year.”
“After engaging face to face with these 100 teens, I am amazed by the amount of talent and potential they’ve demonstrated,” said Michelle Ebanks, chief executive officer of ESSENCE Communications Inc. “At ESSENCE, we embrace the mission of inspiring the next generation of leaders and expect this group to take what they learned at Disney Dreamers Academy and share it with others in their communities and beyond.”
Applications are now open for the 2020 event, which will take place next March at Walt Disney World. High school students ages 13-19 can apply at DisneyDreamersAcademy.com. Students apply by answering a series of essay questions about their personal stories, the influential people in their lives and their dreams for the future. The final 100 participants are selected by a panel of judges.
About Walt Disney World Resort/The Walt Disney Co.:
Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation center located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando. The Walt Disney Co. has a rich legacy of creativity and exceptional storytelling that brings families together in unique and memorable ways. Creative excellence is coupled with a strong commitment to community service and diversity. The Walt Disney Co. is dedicated to making a positive impact in communities around the world, with a primary focus on brightening the lives of children.
About Steve Harvey:
Harvey is an author, actor, producer and comedian. Currently, he is the host of the nationally syndicated radio program, "Steve Harvey Morning Show" as well as host and executive producer of multiple television shows including "Funderdome," "Family Feud," and "Steve.”
About ESSENCE Communications Inc.:
ESSENCE Communications Inc. (ECI) is the #1 media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events and online. The company’s flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the ESSENCE Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, ESSENCE.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 45 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of 14.1 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women’s lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at www.essence.com.
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