For Immediate Release
December 06, 2010
Contact Information

Annette Gibbs
Walt Disney World Public Relations
Jessica Pipkins
Burrell Communications Group

(BPRW) Walt Disney World Resort, Steve Harvey, Essence Magazine Announce the 100 Students Selected for Fourth Disney's Dreamers Academy

High School Teens from Coast to Coast Will Attend the Ultimate Outside-the-Classroom Education Experience

(BLACK PR WIRE) LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Dec. 6, 2010) - Walt Disney World Resort, in collaboration with nationally syndicated radio personality Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine, the leading communications company dedicated to African-American women, has announced the selection of 100 high school students from across the country to participate in Disney’s Dreamers Academy class of 2011.

Dreamers will travel to Walt Disney World Resort in March 2011 to participate in immersive workshops focusing on a variety of subjects including Walt Disney Imagineering techniques, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and culinary arts. Disney experts, world renowned entrepreneurs and celebrities will share their blueprints for success, upholding the program’s mission to motivate, empower and inspire young adults.

Tracey Walters-Powell, executive champion of the program for Disney Parks & Resorts, said, “Disney’s Dreamers Academy is a perfect platform to further the goal, shared by Disney Parks, Essence Communications and – it goes without saying – by Steve Harvey, to inspire children. We are genuinely excited about the possibilities ahead.”

Walt Disney World Resorts and Steve Harvey developed Disney’s Dreamers Academy in an effort to unveil a world of possibilities, inspire teens to dream big and help them to get started on their career paths. Launched in 2007, the program was designed to motivate high school students in grades 9-12 to achieve their dreams personally and professionally. Earlier this fall, parents, teachers, school administrators, church groups and students nominated thousands of aspiring Dreamers for the program. The criteria used to select the Dreamers included exhibiting curiosity, compassion and leadership skills. Selected students, no matter their background, share common traits: the power to BELIEVE and DREAM. The program allows teens the opportunity to learn the process through which to attain their goals.

“Each year we strive to find young people who may have a will or passion, but may not have the courage to explore their dreams.” Harvey said. “So we hope to unlock the power that will allow them to pursue their hearts’ desires. Walt Disney World, Essence Magazine and I are excited to be a part of these young Dreamers’ experience that will encourage them to bring their dreams to life.”

Disney’s Dreamers Academy is dedicated to the complete advancement of youth. The goal is for each participant to leave knowing that no Dream is too far-fetched. These students and their parent or guardian will be given unprecedented access to the enchantment behind Walt Disney World Resort.

Earlier this year Essence Communications joined forces with Disney parks and Steve Harvey to help take Disney’s Dreamers Academy to the “next level.”

Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks said, “Essence is closely aligned with Disney and Steve Harvey in supporting the mission of Disney’s Dreamers Academy and its commitment to positively impacting our youth. Disney’s Dreamers Academy is helping teens take steps in the right direction, and we want to be right there with the students, both encouraging them and sharing their stories.”

Participants for the 2011 Disney’s Dreamers Academy class were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including: Steve Harvey; Yolanda Adams (Gospel Music Legend); Angela Burt-Murray (former editor-in-chief, Essence Magazine); Dr. Steve Perry (Education Advocate and CNN commentator); Dalonte Hall (DDA Dreamer, Class of 2010); Terrence J (MTV Personality); Carole Munroe (Director of Media Relations, Disney Parks & Resorts); Tracey Powell (Director of Pricing, Disney Parks & Resorts); Stella Ringer (Marketing Manager, The Coca-Cola Company); Lorraine Robertson (Blogger) and Stephen A. Smith (Broadcaster/Sports Analyst).

Thirteen students from New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., who missed the 2010 program due to inclement weather have been invited to experience the magic of Disney’s Dreamers Academy along with the 2011 class.

The 2011 Disney’s Dreamers Academy will take place March 3-6, 2011, at Walt Disney World Resort, near Orlando in central Florida. The complete list of the 2011 class is below. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

The following students have been selected to participate* in the 2011 Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine:

Student Name City State
Alexis Coates Auburn AL
Deundray Cottrell Birmingham AL
Shanice Alexander Casa Grande AZ
Princeton Parker Los Angeles CA
Maresja Bray Los Angeles CA
Brittany Dunn Rancho Cordova CA
Alanah Grisham San Diego CA
Rufus Humphrey Inglewood CA
Lester Coffield Washington DC
John Tucker Washington DC
Denzel Wilson Washington DC
Lansana Donzo Claymont DE
Angel Gardner Bear DE
Jakiha Johnson Wilmington DE
Lavelle Pauls Dover DE
Cheylan Abernathy Windermere FL
Khari Anthony Davie FL
Michael Balcom Naples FL
Andrew Bush Pinellas Park FL
Shakeana Clark Apopka FL
Za'quari Johnson Hollywood FL
Christeanna Lalla Orange Park FL
Wayne Lyons Fort Lauderdale FL
Dalvin McHome Riviera Beach FL
De'Mia Middleton Brandon FL
Chante Rodgers Orlando FL
Chardeni Shelton Brandon FL
Alexis Sheppard Orlando FL
Diamond Sims Miami FL
Mark West Tampa FL
Taiya Deria Lithonia GA
Tiana Gainey Soperton GA
Antonia Green Darien GA
Briana Gude Fayetteville GA
Nautica Mitchell Alpharetta GA
Brandon Paul Union City GA
Jone Sagoes McDonough GA
Ashlynn Stodghill Fairburn GA
Simone Wood East Point GA
Aun'Jelika Buchanan Chicago IL
Alexandria Butler Romeoville IL
Lonnel Fowlkes Plainfield IL
Kendall Grady Chicago IL
Robyn Gregg Chicago IL
Kenyatta Holmes Chicago IL
Haroon Lewis Chicago IL
Laryssa Rollins Matteson IL
Lyric Simms Champaign IL
Brianna Sullivan Riverdale IL
Allisa Bryant Merillville IN
Avery Davis Gary IN
Taeler Jackson Topeka KS
Chad Davis New Orleans LA
Raina Houston New Orleans LA
Ashlyn Pinkins Gretna LA
Laward Smith New Orleans LA
Chassity Walker Avondale LA
Xy'Quarrius Webster Lafayette LA
Jared Adams Owings MD
Brianna Bazemore Temple Hills MD
Ta'Shawn Black Capitol Heights MD
Naadira Brooks Suitland MD
TeAna Brown Salisbury MD
Clairmont Huggins Bowie MD
Chelsea Scott Ft. Washington MD
Tevontae Abraham Saginaw MI
Tierney Byrd Detroit MI
Demetrius Jackson Detroit MI
Layla White Detroit MI
Tonio Magee Silvercreek MS
Latosha Blizzard Wilson NC
Jasmine Kirby Charlotte NC
Destinee Wilson Fayetteville NC
Amaka Amaechi Plainfield NJ
Dashana Collins Irvington NJ
Brenaea Flucas Willingboro NJ
A'Dorian Murray-Thomas Newark NJ
Kiana Smiling North Plainfield NJ
Isaiah Wesley Somerset NJ
Patricia Albright Camillus NY
Tonea Barnett Philadelphia PA
Nyilah Jamison-Myers Orangeburg SC
Virginia Wright Columbia SC
Tachele Anderson Memphis TN
Dehattcia Bradd Memphis TN
Christopher Yancy Memphis TN
Joseph Jacques Fort Worth TX
Alysia Johnson Rowlett TX
Jordan Murrell Benbrook TX
Ki'ara Torrence Euless TX
Jose Villagomez McAllen TX
Emily Burns South Ogden UT
Christopher Allen Virginia Beach VA
Denise Dailey Suffolk VA
Ashley Johnson Stafford VA
Tiara Miles Arlington VA
David Miller Bealeton VA
Briaun Rooks Newport News VA
Jacob Rugen Ashburn VA
Tiffani Spruill Newport News VA

*Participation is subject to verification and return of the required documentation.