Tag: Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resorts, Essence and Steve Harvey Host 9th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy, Inspire 100 U.S. High School Students to “Dream Big”

Disney Dreamers Academy Class of 2016 (photo by Gregg Newton)
Disney Dreamers Academy Class of 2016 (photo by Gregg Newton)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Walt Disney World Resorts, in conjunction with Essence Magazine and comedian Steve Harvey, recently hosted its 9th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy in Orlando, Florida.  After selecting from thousands of applications, Disney rewarded 100 U.S. high school students and their chaperones with a four-day seminar (March 3-6) geared towards inspiring, exposing and guiding them on how to achieve their dreams.

Disney Dreamers learning how to build rides in Imagineering workshop (photo courtesy of Disney)
Disney Dreamers in Imagineering workshop (photo courtesy of Disney)

After kicking off the long weekend leading a parade down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and being welcomed by Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis, Walt Disney World Vice President and Executive Champion  Tracey Powell, Essence Editor-At-Large Mikki Taylor, gospel singer Yolanda Adams and host Steve Harvey, the Dreamers are immersed in intensive sessions with motivational speakers such as Jonathan Sprinkles and Capital Prep School Founder and Principal Dr. Steve Perry to help them understand how to overcome obstacles, learn from failures and how to work hard to make their dreams become reality.

Additionally, the Walt Disney World theme parks become vibrant “classrooms,” where Dreamers participate in hands-on, intensive “Deep Dive” workshops led by industry experts. Covering a myriad of career paths ranging from animation to imagineering to marine biology, the Deep Dives do more than expose students to a career choice; they bring to life an opportunity that otherwise might seem distant or impossible.

2016 Disney Dreamer Deja Kirk (photo courtesy of Disney)
2016 Disney Dreamer Deja Kirk (photo courtesy of Disney)

Celebrities such as MC Lyte, Tamera Mowery, Loni Love, Lance Gross, Lamman Rucker, Silento and film producer Will Packer also gave their personal time and shared their knowledge with the Dreamers on what it takes to gain and maintain an unconventional career.

“It has literally been so amazing,” said Dreamer Deja Kirk from Oklahoma City, who is interested in becoming an elasmobranchologist (a marine biologist who specializes in sharks and rays).  “I’m not one to be corny at all, I’m usually a very stoic person, so for me to be so excited about this is really huge.  Even if you don’t know what you’re going to do, just getting the general exposure to everything I feel like not only am I prepared to pursue my career, if I were to change it in any way I still have a really good foundation for whatever I want to do.”

This week, Good Black News will be bringing you even more stories from this unique event, including spotlights on several Dreamers, perspectives from their parents, as well as interviews with some of the dedicated professionals who gave their time and wisdom to DDA this year.

To learn more about Disney Dreamers Academy, go to: https://www.disneydreamersacademy.com or https://www.facebook.com/DisneyDreamersAcademy/

 

Applications Open for the 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Dreamers Academy Class of 2015 (photo via Courtesy Walt Disney)
Disney Dreamers Academy Class of 2015 (photo via Courtesy Walt Disney)

High school students nationwide can now apply at DisneyDreamersAcademy.com to be among 100 selected to participate in the 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE, the innovative, outside-the-classroom, educational mentoring program at Walt Disney World Resort.

Entering the search for its ninth class of Dreamers, 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, students participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a variety of career paths, ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills such as communication techniques, leadership values and networking strategies.

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2015 DDA members participate in engineering project. (Photo by Lori Lakin Hutcherson)

It all takes place in the very magical and creative setting of Walt Disney World Resort. Dreamers are taken both on stage and behind the scenes, where Disney theme parks become vibrant ‘classrooms,’ leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Disney Dreamers are exposed to motivational speakers and celebrities who 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.

“We’re excited to welcome back Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE for the ninth year,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts vice president of deluxe resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “This program stands out for its ability to motivate and inspire teens to think big and achieve their dreams. By applying for Disney Dreamers Academy, high school students from across the country are taking a step toward an experience that can change their lives.”

RELATED: Walt Disney World Resort, Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine Host 8th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy to Inspire High School Teens

Applicants must answer essay questions about their personal stories and their dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a combination of attributes, including a strong character, positive attitude and determination to achieve their dreams.  Continue reading “Applications Open for the 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort”

Walt Disney World Resort, Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine Host 8th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy to Inspire High School Teens

Steve Harvey, Disney VP Tracey Powell, Essence Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor, a Dreamer and Minnie Mouse in Disney Dreamers Academy Parade on Opening Day
Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Steve Harvey, Disney VP Tracey Powell, Essence Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor and a Dreamer in Magic Kingdom Parade on Disney Dreamers Academy Opening Day (Photo courtesy of Disney)

From March 5-8, Walt Disney World Resort hosted 100 high school students from across the nation at the 2015 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. The teens, who were chosen out of 10,000 applicants, along with a parent or guardian, received an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, where they took part in a once-in-a-lifetime educational and mentoring program designed to inspire them to dream big, discover a world of possibilities and prepare for their future.

During the 4-day event, participants –  referred to as “Dreamers” – learned important skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies, how to build confidence and create fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

The Academy was founded in 2007 when Disney and Steve Harvey collaborated to combine the ideas from Harvey’s annual mentoring camp for boys with Disney’s concept for a Dreamers Academy.

SteveHarvey
Harvey welcomes and encourages young Dreamers (Photo courtesy of Disney)

“Disney is magnificent at making dreams come true,” said Harvey in his welcome address to the Dreamers.  “Dreams are previews of life’s coming attractions.  A dream will propel you to get an education.  Whatever you can imagine you can have.”

During the Dreamers Academy, the Walt Disney World theme parks became vibrant “classrooms,” where Dreamers participated in hands-on, full-immersion “Deep Dive” workshops led by industry experts. Covering a bevy of career paths, ranging from animation to zoology, the Deep Dives do more than expose students to a career choice; they bring to life an opportunity that otherwise might seem distant or impossible.

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Neurosurgeon Keyne K. Johnson, MD educated her Dreamers on implanting shunts, discussing cases, in addition to cranial-sacral surgery techniques.

“I actually didn’t know there were other African-American women neurosurgeons. I mean, I knew… but I never met one in real life,” said Fairfield, CA 11th grader Morgan Buckner after her Deep Dive session led by Orlando-based neurosurgeon Dr. Keyne K. Johnson. “So actually meeting one and seeing the work that she does and how she cares for her patients really instilled in me and solidified how I want to be a neurosurgeon,” Buckner added.

Dreamers were also addressed by motivational speakers such as Capital Prep School founder and Principal Dr. Steve Perry, Bishop TD Jakes and Jonathan Sprinkles, celebrities such as E! host Terrence J, gospel great Yolanda Adams, actor Lamman Rucker, Chef Jeff Henderson, former Disney star Coco Jones, and movie producer Will Packer, entrepreneurs, executives and Disney Cast Members who shared their stories and provided insight on charting a positive course and achievement.

TiedtoGreatness
Dr. Alex Ellis and the Young Male Dreamers of 2015 (Photo Courtesy of Disney)

Additionally, the Academy also offered Dreamers instruction on how to present themselves positively via clothing and image in sessions called “Style 101; Young, Fit and Fly” for the young women with Brandi Harvey and Karli Harvey and “Tied to Greatness” for the young men with Dr. Alex Ellis.

“Year after year, Disney Dreamers Academy continues to help students dream big and achieve those dreams,” said Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Vice President of Deluxe Resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell.

ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, “ This program transcends the normal classroom setting, taking learning to the next level.  Our valued partnership with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey represents our commitment to the leaders of tomorrow.”

To find out more about Disney Dreamers Academy, visit www.disneydreamersacademy.com. www.facebook.com/disneydreamersacademy or on Twitter @dreamersacademy.

For behind-the-scenes photos of this year’s event, check out Good Black News on Instagram, FacebookTwitter or Tumblr, and look for more articles here at goodblacknews.org in the coming days.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)