Disney Dreamers Academy hosts 100 high school students for annual program

Dreamers will engage in career and mentoring workshops at sixth-annual event

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 7, 2013) – This weekend, the Walt Disney World Resort will host 100 teens participating in Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine.  The teens, along with a parent or guardian, received an all-expense-paid trip to the Walt Disney World Resort March 7-10, but they won’t be vacationing. Instead, they are participating 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 which included Powell, Harvey and Ebanks. Applicants answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories and life dreams. 

The remaining 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.

For more information visit www.disneysdreamersacademy.com, www.facebook.com/disneysdreamersacademy or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dreamersacademy.

The following students have been selected to participate in the 2013 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine:

First Last City State
Trechaun Gonzalez El Mirage AZ
Kailah Brookfield Los Angeles CA
Edriece Gills Corona CA
Sathya Peri Cerritos CA
Brandon Tanyi Inglewood CA
Mahogany Foster Hartford CT
Thomas-Anthony Lytle Bloomfield CT
Marcus Burns Jacksonville FL
Cesar Castillo Hialeah FL
Thomas Darby Apopka FL
Kalin Houston Davie FL
Dwight James Jacksonville FL
Aisha Louis Hollywood FL
Alyah Sheppard Orlando FL
Caroline Simmons Tampa FL
Erica Thomas Land O’ Lakes FL
Demetre Williams Pace FL
Reaghan Wooster Yalaha FL
Daniel Blues Atlanta GA
Lawrence Boyd Clarkston GA
Kylah Cox Conley GA
Dwymesha McConn Marietta GA
Gabriel Roberts Fairburn GA
Jawaun Samuels Stone Mountain GA
Ebony Winters Ringgold GA
Ian Boyd Chicago IL
Tiszara Green Chicago IL
Jada Jenkins Chicago IL
Danye Lackland Berkeley IL
Tarena Lofton Fishers IN
Izabella Borowiak-Miller Stilwell KS
DeAndre Farris Shelbyville KY
Brendan Canty Baltimore MD
Raven Coit Cheltenham MD
Jasmine George Upper Marlboro MD
Jai Horsey Owings MD
Michael Shannon Bowie MD
Faith Boone Novi MI
Tiara Clark Detroit MI
Kayla Noel Pontiac MI
DeShone Valley Saginaw MI
Alanna Humphrey Plymouth MN
Aziza Harrell Kansas City MO
Daniel Johnson Kansas City MO
Kionna Townsel Kansas City MO
Camille Amos Jackson MS
Che’ Smith Horn Lake MS
Shamiraca Williams Hattiesburg MS
Mathama Bility Cary NC
Kenneth Bridges Fayetteville NC
Darryl Crockett Rocky Mount NC
Chauncey Davidson Charlotte NC
Nile Hooker High Point NC
Stephen Hope Jacksonville NC
Clarke Mingo Charlotte NC
Marcus Mobley Cary NC
Austin Morrel Cary NC
Ashlee Ernst Lincoln NE
Ryan Shepard North Plainfield NJ
Isaiah Devereaux Piscataway NJ
Dashonnah Gittens Newark NJ
Kayla Jackson Somerset NJ
Melaine King Brick NJ
Izaiha Linton Carteret NJ
Husain Abd ‘Allah Jamaica NY
Garrett Collins Brooklyn NY
Yaime Espinoza Texhoma OK
Kiela Brewer Philadelphia PA
Aliya Bright Philadelphia PA
Dominique Foster West Chester PA
Anthony Waller Lavittown PA
Monikah Dozier Columbia SC
Sydney Johnson Simpsonville SC
Sydney Knox Rock Hill SC
Kendra Nesmith Fort Mill SC
Thomas Pope Aiken SC
Quintavias Watts Simpsonville SC
Nyles Harris Nashville TN
Jordan Simpson Smyrna TN
Asia Clarkson Fort Worth TX
Chrystine Gallegos Cypress TX
Jaida George Dallas TX
Brandon Hammons DeSoto TX
Elizabeth Monroe Baytown TX
Cody Neal Houston TX
Nytesia Ross Tyler TX
Ja Tavia Stoot La Porte TX
Howard Watson McKinney TX
Cameron Wicks Cedar Hill TX
Shena Bynum Suffolk VA
Deysha Cochran Norfolk VA
Lorea Cooper Newport News VA
Kayla Jernigan Norfolk VA
Micah Murray Richmond VA
Nicholas Payne Glen Allen VA
Devin Simpson Woodbridge VA
Cristen Braun Barre VT
Marquese Sykes Seattle WA
Amani Lawrence Milwaukee WI
Kelsey Orr Inwood WV

Media Contacts:

Maria Cecilia Toro

Walt Disney World Public Relations

maria.c.toro@disney.com

407.566.6310

 

Treva J. Marshall/Joel Kaiman

TJM Communications, Inc.

treva@tjmcommunications.com / joel@tjmcommunications.com

407.977.5004

 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:

Steve Harvey began doing stand-up comedy in the mid-1980s, which eventually led to a long stint as host of “It’s Showtime at the Apollo.” His success as a stand-up comedian led to multiple TV sitcoms, including “Me and The Boys”, “The Steve Harvey Show” and “Steve Harvey’s Big Time Challenge. “His first book, “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man,” quickly became a bestseller in 2009. Harvey has appeared on “The Oprah Show,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Currently, Harvey hosts the nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” which airs in over 60 markets and has over 7 million listeners. He is host of “Steve Harvey” a new nationally syndicated daytime talk show.

 About Essence Communications Inc.:

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one 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, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 42 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of over 8 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.

 

###