Daymond John, Disney Dreamer, Te’Lario Watkins II

Shark Tank’s Daymond John Grants Disney Dreamer A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity

At Walt Disney World Resort, 'Shark Tank' investor Daymond John bestowed a life-changing invitation upon Te’Lario Watkins II.

Amid the enchantment of Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort, the magic took an extraordinary turn when Shark Tank investor Daymond John bestowed a life-changing invitation to an ambitious young entrepreneur, Te’Lario Watkins II.

Sixteen-year-old Watkins, hailing from Blacklick, Ohio, found himself at the heart of a remarkable moment during a media interview at Disney Dreamers Academy when John made a surprise appearance. With a personalized invitation, John extended an offer to Watkins, inviting him to join him on the set for a taping of Shark Tank. For Watkins, this unexpected gesture marked the realization of a cherished dream.

“Extremely excited for the opportunity; I’m very amazed, and I’m very happy. There’s just so many emotions I can’t really put them all into words,” said Watkins during his Disney Dreamers Academy interview.

Since the tender age of 7, Watkins has been the driving force behind Tiger Mushroom Farms, his small business dedicated to cultivating gourmet mushrooms and offering dry mushroom products. Furthermore, he is the visionary founder of the Garden Club Project, a nonprofit endeavor to combat food insecurities within his community. Watkins’ entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to social impact have garnered admiration and acclaim, making him a beacon of inspiration for aspiring young leaders nationwide.

Daymond John’s surprise visit and heartfelt invitation epitomize the essence of Disney Dreamers Academy, a transformative mentoring program hosted annually at Walt Disney World Resort

“These little things can help Telario on his journey to solve hunger in his neighborhood, and now that he likes technology, he may solve it around the world. There is nothing that can stop him because he’s a dreamer. I just hope I was a little part of his dream,” stated John.

Now in its 17th year, the Academy is a beacon of hope and opportunity for 100 Black high school students and teens from underrepresented communities across America. Supported by sponsors AT&T, Sprite, and Delta Airlines, this immersive five-day event offers a platform for aspiring young minds to explore career pathways, cultivate leadership skills, and connect with influential mentors and industry leaders.

In addition to John, a constellation of luminaries graces the Disney Dreamers Academy, including Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross, Hollywood veteran Lance Gross, and Disney actress Dara Renee, among others. These esteemed mentors impart invaluable wisdom and guidance through workshops, seminars, and presentations, empowering participants to pursue their passions with confidence and conviction.

As the curtain rises on another chapter of Disney Dreamers Academy, the legacy of inspiration and empowerment continues to flourish. For Te’Lario Watkins II and his fellow dreamers, the journey toward realizing their fullest potential has just begun, fueled by the transformative power of mentorship, perseverance, and boundless imagination.