LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., (FNN NEWS) — Approximately 100 students from across America will soon pack their bags for a fabulous, fun-filled and educational trip to Walt Disney World Resort as part of this year’s Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE, March 3-6, 2016.
The teens, along with a parent or guardian, will take off on an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where they will experience once-in-a-lifetime educational and mentoring program designed to inspire them to dream big and discover a world of possibilities that will help them prepare for their future.
The students, known as “Dreamers,” are taken on stage and behind the scenes, where Disney theme parks become vibrant ‘classrooms’ and students discover new careers and pursue their dreams while also creating fun memories that last a lifetime.
During Disney Dreamers Academy, students participate in hands-on, immersive career-oriented workshops, ranging from animation to zoology. Each student is given important tools such as effective communication techniques, leadership skills, and networking strategies.
Additionally, Dreamers are exposed to acclaimed motivational speakers and popular celebrities who share their stories and insight on achieving success and DREAMING BIG. Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while gaining first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and renowned entrepreneurs and executives.
“Disney Dreamers Academy is a one-of-a-kind program that, since its inception, is helping more than 800 students achieve their dreams,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts vice president of deluxe resorts. Powell serves as Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “As we prepare for our ninth annual event, the greatest reward has been seeing so many of our previous Dreamers use their experience at Disney Dreamers Academy to expand their dreams and move even closer to making them a reality. After all, that is what the program is all about,” said Powell.
Walt Disney World Resort, along with syndicated television and radio personality Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Communications, will host the selected Dreamers during their magical four-day career and educational exploration.
“Disney Dreamers Academy provides an excellent learning environment to help young students with their aspirations and to dream even bigger,” said Harvey. “I can’t wait to meet this year’s new students and kick off the 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort in March.”
Michelle Ebanks, president of ESSENCE Communications, added: “We are excited to once again join with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey to encourage our youth to dream big. Our expectation is that this group of remarkable teens will be the leaders of tomorrow and positively impact the world for years to come. It is our honor and commitment at ESSENCE to be part of that process.”
This year’s students were selected from thousands of applicants who answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories and dreams for the future. The students were chosen by a judging panel that included: gospel music legend Yolanda Adams; ESSENCE magazine editor-at-large Mikki Taylor; education advocate Dr. Steve Perry; The Sister Accord founder and author Sonia Jackson Myles; award-winning motivational speaker Jonathan Sprinkles; Simply Ellis Custom Clothier CEO Dr. Alex O. Ellis; Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation executive director Brandi Harvey; Steve Harvey Products creative director Karli Harvey; and professional speaker and Disney Dreamers Academy alumnus Princeton Parker.