Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Two Disney Dreamers Awarded Summer Internship with Essence Magazine

High school students Jordan Purvis and Victoria Hardy pose with Michelle Ebanks, president of ESSENCE Communications, after receiving an internship opportunity with ESSENCE Magazine during the commencement of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy, taking place March 8-11, 2018 is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

*The time spent at the Disney Dreamers Academy for Dreamers Jordan Purvis and Victoria D. Hardy was not only magical but laid the foundation to fulfill their dreams.  Jordan, a 15-year old sophomore attends J.D. Clement Early College High School in North Carolina and Victoria a 17-year old junior enrolled at James Madison High School (Ezekiel Academy) in Alabama; both students participated in the Deep Dive: Reporting Live!

The Correspondents Crash Course in Multimedia under the guidance of facilitators Charreah Jackson, Lifestyle and Relationships Senior Editor and Intern Program Manager, Essence Magazine, and Meg Patten, Operations Engagement Specialist for Walt Disney World.

EURweb.com caught up with the Dreamers after the academy to talk about what they learned and how they plan to move forward. Check it out below.

Jordan Purvis is the vice president of the Community Service Club and a member of the National Honor Society.  After he graduates from high school, he plans to pursue a degree in journalism, film, and television production.

EUR: How did you hear about Disney Dreamers? What made you apply for the Disney Dreamers?

Jordan: I heard about Disney Dreamers when I was younger. My mother was told me about it in a passing conversation. Then a few years later my close friend Morgan Hyman told me about the program again. So when I researched it, it looked like an amazing opportunity. I answered the questions as best as I could in the truest way and submitted my application.

EUR: What was your reaction when you were accepted into the academy?

Jordan: When I found out that I was accepted into the academy, it was after Christmas when the UPS man dropped a package on my door. I thought it was my driver’s permit or a phone case that I had just ordered. But when I opened it and saw that it was from Disney Dreamers, I was reading the acknowledgment letter waiting for it to say, ‘I am deeply sorry,’ but it was the complete opposite. I [felt] exhilarated, but then I kept reading, and it said, ‘potential winner,’ so the next two weeks [I took in] a deep breath.  It was not until I received that email confirmation that it started to sink in.

EUR:  What did you learn from your Deep Dive?

Jordan:  In our Deep Dive, we worked on a newsletter that was given out at the Commencement Ceremony.   We titled the newsletter “Infinity” mainly because we are all dreamers and your dreams don’t stop once you leave this great program, you continue [with] your dreams until the end of your time.  In the Deep Dive, I learned how to work with a team to come up with a design and the articles. My article focused on the alumni because I just wanted to understand how the Disney Dreamers Academy can change your life from the alumni’s perspective. I was also able to work closely with Charreah Jackson, and she emphasized the importance of staying connected and network in your field, that failure is not a setback but a blessing, and how to be a creative writer.

EUR:  What inspired you to pursue a career in journalism?

Jordan: What inspired me to have a career in journalism [is] I am always interested in the news; it can be from politics to world issues or even pop culture. Some of my favorite shows are Ellen, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and The Breakfast Club. I’ve always wanted to be a television host or a news broadcaster.

Jordan Purvis at Disney Dreamers Academy Orlando, Florida.

EUR: What were your thoughts when you were presented with the opportunity to intern with Essence Magazine at the Disney Dreamers Academy Commencement Ceremony?

Jordan: When I was presented the opportunity to intern with Essence Magazine I was completely surprised. I was already selected as one of the 100 kids to get picked to come to this amazing program. Then I was hit with another amazing opportunity. I just felt blessed, honestly.

EUR: What did you learn while at the Disney Dreamers Academy?

Jordan: I learned while being at the Disney Dreamers Academy was to dream big, being here I met many different kids with the some of the same goals and aspirations as me. [I met] people from all across the country from different backgrounds, some who have made apps others who have made non-profit organizations, they inspired me. Another thing that I learned at the Disney Dreamers Academy was to Be 100, the main theme at the academy. [What] I took away from that [idea] was to be the person that God made you [and] to be genuine and real to everyone around you.

Another thing that I learned from being at the academy was that I need to find who I am in life, what can I do to serve the people because that is what it [is] ultimately all about, serving the people around you, that can be with love, inspiration, or the news. Steve Harvey said, “Your career is what you paid for, and your calling is what you are made for.” That just really stuck with me because I feel like after the program I need to find my true [purpose].

EUR: Which speaker impacted you the most and why?

Jordan:  There were all amazing speakers in the program, but the one that impacted me the most was Dr. Steve Perry. He made me realize that [even though] I made it to this program there are millions of dreamers out there with similar stories, deeper struggles that are just as determined as me. He also made me realize being at the Disney Dreamers Academy is great but it is what you take from it and how you apply it to your life [that] is where you see the real dreamers. He emphasized that being here is a blessing that I don’t deserve but should appreciate.  The last two quotes that I took from him were, “Greatness is not a destination but it is a pursuit,” and “By giving light you get light.”

EUR: How did attending Disney Dreamers Academy empower your dreams?

Jordan: Attending Disney Dreamers Academy empowered my dreams to do more writing and start a blog with the rest of my fellow Journalist Dreamers. I want this blog to cover popular and unpopular issues from the perspective of the youth. We also want to acknowledge other millennials who are following their dreams and serving the people; we want to motivate people as well.

The website is www.ourtimegeneration.com, but we are still working on it.


(l-r) Meg Patten, Operations Engagement Specialist for Walt Disney World, Charreah Jackson , Lifestyle and Relationships Senior Editor, Essence Magazine with Dreamers Victoria D. Hardy and Ayanna Adams Orlando, Florida.

Victoria Hardy plans after she graduates high school, to pursue a journalism degree with a minor in political science at Howard University.  Her dream is to become an international broadcasting journalist, produce documentaries, and eventually own a news network.

EUR: How did you hear about Disney Dreamers? What made you apply for the Disney Dreamers?

Victoria: I heard about Disney Dreamers while listening to the Steve Harvey Morning Show on the radio. I applied for Disney Dreamers because I supported its vision, purpose, and mission. I knew that I would benefit from this program and that it would change my life.

EUR: What was your reaction when you were accepted into the academy?

Victoria: At first, I didn’t even think that the package was from Disney Dreamers, but my Dad guessed that it was from the Disney Dreamers Academy because of the label. I was too scared to open it, so he read it, and when he said I was accepted I ran through the whole house!

EUR: What did you learn from your Deep Dive?

Victoria:  In my Deep Dive, I learned how to work with others and put different ideas together to make [it] one. I learned how the journalism field works. I also learned how due dates are important. I stayed up to 3 a.m. writing my article so it would be turned in on time. The most important thing I learned from this Deep Dive was how passionate I am about my dream. I knew that I was dedicated and determined, but my Deep Dive helped me realized this is what I was created to do.

EUR: What inspired you to pursue a career in journalism?

Victoria:  Well, there is this quote I came up with that I believe is the root of why I want to be a journalist, a “Lack of information creates an ignorant generation.” I’ve always loved to inform people and being informed, and it wasn’t until I got into a serious debate that I realized people need to be more informed. My parents always told me “Don’t complain about something you are not willing to fix,” and I found myself watching the news, researching and reading about everything. I started to become so informed that people came to me for valid information. I saw that I was helping people and making a big difference just by providing information. I [became] reliable which is my number one goal in life.

EUR: What were your thoughts when you were presented with the opportunity to intern with Essence Magazine at the commencement?

Victoria: I had no idea they were giving out internships let alone for Essence Magazine, it didn’t feel real at all. I looked at my Mom, she looked at me, and we were both like ‘What.’ It didn’t hit me that I just got an internship at Essence Magazine until I returned to my seat and Yolanda Adams started singing. Next thing I know my Mom and I are both crying, and everyone at my table starts crying, it was a “Thank you, Jesus, you never fail to amaze me” moment. To know that someone saw something in me worth awarding was indescribable; it strengthened my faith, gave me hope and confirmed that I [could] do this.

 EUR: What did you learn while at the Disney Dreamers Academy?

Victoria:  I learned everything I need to know to keep going, no matter how hard it gets keep going. I learned how to network and step outside of my comfort zone. I learned how to be 100 in every aspect of my life. Most importantly, I learned how to make a difference through my dream.

EUR: Which speaker impacted you the most?

Victoria:  Steve Harvey was my favorite. He gave out impactful information and kept it 100 at the same time.

EUR: How did attending Disney Dreamers Academy empower your dreams?

Victoria: Disney Dreamers empowered my dreams by giving me the opportunity to see other teens have the same ambition as me and being around so much greatness, positivity, and passion empowered my dreams the most.  It created this fire in me to go [after] my dream.

High school students who are interested in attending the 2019 Disney Dreamers Academy can apply starting June 28 by visiting disneydreamersacademy.com



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