Walt Disney World Resort revealed the 100 extraordinary youths from across the nation who will participate in the 2019 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. Each student receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World to participate in an immersive, transformational four-day experience that will take place March 21-24.
The program, now in its 12th year, is an important part of Disney’s commitment to helping the next generation of young people by inspiring them at a critical time in their development. The Disney Dreamers Academy theme is “Be100,” encouraging teens to be positive, to be “all in” and to carry what they learn back with them, so they can relentlessly pursue their dreams and make a difference in the lives of others.
“These students are in for a life-changing experience,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World Resort vice president, and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “Our goal is to help them see the unlimited possibilities and to inspire them to achieve their full purpose. To become the heroes of their own stories.”
Participating students, known as “Disney Dreamers,” embark on a journey that takes them throughout the Disney theme parks and behind the scenes of this 40-square-mile vacation destination. Walt Disney World becomes a vibrant classroom where students discover new career opportunities, pursue their dreams and interact with Harvey and other celebrities and motivational speakers. Celebrities who have participated in the past include singers Patti LaBelle and Ne-Yo, NBA legend and business mogul Magic Johnson, gospel music star Yolanda Adams, actor Jussie Smollett, plus TV personalities such as celebrity chef Carla Hall and “Good Morning America’’ co-anchor Michael Strahan.
Additionally, students participate in immersive career-oriented workshops that range from animation to zoology. Each student is also given important life tools such as effective communication techniques, leadership skills and networking strategies.
“Having a dream is one of the most important things in life. My success is a direct result of dreaming big,” said Harvey. “It is my passion to help others dream bigger and to give them the tools to achieve those dreams. That is why I enjoy partnering with Disney on this program every year.”
Since 2008, Walt Disney World Resort has provided all-expenses-paid trips to more than 1,100 students, plus a parent or guardian, to participate in the annual Disney Dreamers Academy. Students are selected from thousands of applicants who answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories and dreams for the future.
“We have a remarkable group of students attending this year,” said Michelle Ebanks, Chief Executive Officer of Essence Communications Inc. “At ESSENCE, we embrace the mission of inspiring the next generation of leaders, and we’re looking forward to partnering with Disney once again to cultivate greatness in the 2019 class.”
For more information, visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com.