Aug. 28 marks the 52nd anniversary of Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech and the March on Washington. It’s true that King’s dream hasn’t been completely realized in this country, but many feel that what is needed to bring his dream to fruition is more dreamers – people who are willing to not only dream big but do as King did and work hard at fulfilling their dreams.
Disney Dreamers Academy, an educational mentoring program held at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, is seeking these big dreamers. For the ninth consecutive year, Disney is accepting applications from high school students ages 13–19 to attend its renowned program where they’ll be inspired to dream big, aim high, and excel in their area of interest.
Hosted by syndicated radio and television personality Steve Harvey and Essence magazine, Disney Dreamers Academy provides hands-on, immersive workshops in a variety of professional areas – from animation to zoology and everything in between. Participants learn important life- and career-enhancing skills, such as communication techniques, leadership skills, and networking strategies, and meet successful working professionals in their area of professional interest who can offer advice and guidance. They will also hear from motivational speakers and celebrities who provide insight into achieving success and dreaming big.
“We’re excited to welcome back Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence for the ninth year,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts vice president of deluxe resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “This program stands out for its ability to motivate and inspire teens to think big and achieve their dreams. By applying for Disney Dreamers Academy, high school students from across the country are taking a step toward an experience that can change their lives.”
Applicants must answer essay questions about their personal stories and their dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a combination of attributes, including a strong character, positive attitude, and determination to achieve their dreams.
The selected Disney Dreamers along with a parent or guardian will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The upcoming Disney Dreamers Academy will take place March 3–6, 2016.
Steve Harvey, along with Essence and Walt Disney World Resort, will host the Dreamers during their four-day power-packed career and educational exploration. “One of my personal commitments is to always give back and particularly to youth,” said Harvey. “We’ve seen 800 students come through the program, and I’m excited to find the next 100. I encourage all high school students to take the time to apply for Disney Dreamers Academy because I truly believe that a young person’s dream is more important than anything.”
Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, “Each year, Essence is honored to seek out the next generation of big dreamers and welcome them to Walt Disney World Resort for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is our privilege to take part in such an empowering youth platform that enables us to impact the leaders of tomorrow.”
Applications are open to U.S. high school students, ages 13-19, until Oct. 30, 2015. A distinguished panel of leaders will judge the applications in November and winners will be announced in December 2015.