The Disney’s Dreamers Academy is a four-day program aimed to motivate, empower and inspire young people. The program is a collaborative effort between Walt Disney World Resort, comedian and actor Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine, the leading communications company dedicated to African-American women.
More than 100 students selected from across the country will come together at Disney to be encouraged and inspired by highly successful Disney mentors, celebrities, innovators and creators. The event aims to help the teens learn to dream bigger and get the courage to explore making their dreams come true – all in the magical setting of the Walt Disney World Resort.
“I’ve never been to Walt Disney World so this is definitely a dream come true for me,” said 17-year-old Chante Rodgers, a junior at Orlando’s Oak Ridge High School. “When I found out that I was selected, I started screaming and crying. I was so excited. I look at this experience as the first step towards my goal of attending the University of Miami some day and studying physical therapy and athletic training.”
Monica Abernathy, an 18-year-old homeschooler from Windermere wants to travel the world but says it all starts with a trip to Walt Disney World Resort and the 2011 Disney’s Dreamers Academy. “I am really looking forward to meeting young people my age with different dreams and goals,” said Abernathy. “My real goal is to put smiles on people’s faces as a physician’s assistant or a pharmacist some day.”
The third Central Florida Dreamers Academy participant is 14-year-old Alexis Sheppard, a 9th grader at Boone High School in Orlando who wants to go to college and study forensic science someday.
Plans are still coming together for the 2011 Disney’s Dreamers Academy, but students will be exposed to diverse group sessions, from visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios where they’ll learn how Walt Disney brought animation to life to a trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom where they’ll have the chance to explore wild careers in the zoological field.