LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL -- Walt Disney World Resort, in collaboration with nationally syndicated radio personality Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine, the leading communications company dedicated to African-American women, has announced the selection of 100 high school students from across the country to participate in Disney's Dreamers Academy class of 2011.
Dreamers will travel to Walt Disney World Resort in March 2011 to participate in immersive workshops focusing on a variety of subjects including Walt Disney Imagineering techniques, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and culinary arts. Disney experts, world renowned entrepreneurs and celebrities will share their blueprints for success, upholding the program's mission to motivate, empower and inspire young adults.
Tracey Walters-Powell, executive champion of the program for Disney Parks & Resorts, said, "Disney's Dreamers Academy is a perfect platform to further the goal, shared by Disney Parks, Essence Communications and – it goes without saying – by Steve Harvey, to inspire children. We are genuinely excited about the possibilities ahead."
Walt Disney WorldResorts and Steve Harveydeveloped Disney's Dreamers Academy in an effort to unveil a world of possibilities, inspire teens to dream big and help them to get started on their career paths. Launched in 2007, the program was designed to motivate high school students in grades 9-12 to achieve their dreams personally and professionally. Earlier this fall, parents, teachers, school administrators, church groups and students nominated thousands of aspiring Dreamers for the program. The criteria used to select the Dreamers included exhibiting curiosity, compassion and leadership skills. Selected students, no matter their background, share common traits: the power to BELIEVE and DREAM. The program allows teens the opportunity to learn the process through which to attain their goals.
"Each year we strive to find young people who may have a will or passion, but may not have the courage to explore their dreams." Harvey said. "So we hope to unlock the power that will allow them to pursue their hearts' desires. Walt Disney World, Essence Magazine and I are excited to be a part of these young Dreamers' experience that will encourage them to bring their dreams to life."
Disney's Dreamers Academy is dedicated to the complete advancement of youth. The goal is for each participant to leave knowing that no Dream is too far-fetched. These students and their parent or guardian will be given unprecedented access to the enchantment behind Walt Disney WorldResort.
Earlier this year Essence Communications joined forces with Disney parks and Steve Harvey to help take Disney's Dreamers Academy to the "next level."
Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks said, "Essence is closely aligned with Disney and Steve Harvey in supporting the mission of Disney's Dreamers Academy and its commitment to positively impacting our youth. Disney's Dreamers Academy is helping teens take steps in the right direction, and we want to be right there with the students, both encouraging them and sharing their stories."
Participants for the 2011 Disney's Dreamers Academy class were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including: Steve Harvey; Yolanda Adams (Gospel Music Legend); Angela Burt-Murray (former editor-in-chief, Essence Magazine); Dr. Steve Perry(Education Advocate and CNN commentator); Dalonte Hall (DDA Dreamer, Class of 2010); Terrence J (MTV Personality);Carole Munroe (Director of Media Relations, Disney Parks & Resorts); Tracey Powell (Director of Pricing, Disney Parks & Resorts); Stella Ringer (Marketing Manager, The Coca-Cola Company); Lorraine Robertson (Blogger) and Stephen A. Smith(Broadcaster/Sports Analyst).
Thirteen students from New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., who missed the 2010 program due to inclement weather have been invited to experience the magic of Disney's Dreamers Academy along with the 2011 class.
The 2011 Disney's Dreamers Academy will take place March 3-6, 2011, at Walt Disney World Resort, near Orlando in centralFlorida. The complete list of the 2011 class is: