LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2013) – Walt Disney World Resort has announced the 100 teens who will participate in the next Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. The teens, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the Walt Disney World Resort March 7-10, but they won’t be vacationing. Instead, they will participate in a once-in-lifetime innovative outside-the-classroom educational and mentoring program.
Entering its sixth year, Disney Dreamers Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire and fuel the dreams of teens, help them discover a world of possibilities and help them prepare for the future. Each year, 100 students participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a bevy of career paths ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies.
It all takes place in a magical setting: The Walt Disney World theme parks. Both on stage and behind the scenes, the parks become vibrant ‘classrooms’ leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Motivational speakers and celebrities share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and “DREAM BIG.” Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives.
“Over the past five years, we have helped 500 Dreamers unlock their potential and get started on their journeys in life,” said Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell. “The sixth Disney Dreamers Academy marks another year of continued motivation, education and success. Steve Harvey and Essence Communications share in our vision of enriching lives. Everyone leaves this program inspired to live their best life.”
Walt Disney World Resort along with Steve Harvey, syndicated radio and television personality, and Essence Magazine will host the selected Dreamers during their four-day power packed career and educational exploration. Harvey, speaking on the program, says, “Disney Dreamers Academy gives hope and inspiration and exposes youth to a world of possibilities. We are excited about another opportunity to transform lives and give students an inside look at what their future can hold.”
Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, “We are excited about the sixth Disney Dreamers Academy. This program transcends the normal classroom setting, taking learning to the next level. This year we plan to go above and beyond to encourage Dreamers. Our valued partnership with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey represents our commitment to the leaders of tomorrow.”
This year’s 100 students were selected from among more than 5,000 applicants by a panel of judges representing the best in their fields that included Powell, Harvey and Ebanks. Applicants answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories and life dreams.
The rest of the 2013 Disney Dreamers Academy judging panel was comprised of: Mikki Taylor (Editor-at-Large, ESSENCE Magazine); Yolanda Adams (gospel music legend); Terrence J (actor and host of E! News); Stephen A. Smith (broadcaster and sports analyst); Dr. Steve Perry (education advocate and CNN commentator); Sonia Jackson Myles (founder and author, The Sister Accord); Jonathan Sprinkles (award-winning motivational speaker); Chef Jeff Henderson (celebrity chef and motivational speaker); Alex O. Ellis (CEO, Simply Ellis Custom Clothier) Brandi Harvey (Corporate and Community Relations Director, the Steve Harvey World Group) and Karli Harvey (Hair Artesian, U Salon, Atlanta).
This accomplished group remains involved in Disney Dreamers Academy throughout the year serving as the program’s ambassadors and advisory panel as part of the Disney Dreamers Academy’s Speaker Resource Group.
Steve’s message to those that did not get in this year.