Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Outstanding Group of 100 Teens Selected from Among Thousands to Take Part in 2019 Disney Dreamers Academy

*Walt Disney World Resort recently announced their selection of 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.

Selected Dreamers will participate in an immersive four-day mentorship program that will take place March 21-24, 2019.(Todd Anderson, photographer)

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.

2nd from Right: Jackson Stewart, from West Palm Beach, Fla., and other students, learn engineering principles during an Imagineering and engineering workshop as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE at Walt Disney World Resort. The Disney Dreamers Academy is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Gregg Newton, photographer)

“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.”

The 100 students selected to participate in the 2019 Disney Dreamers Academy are (listed by state):

First Last City State
Holden Dunlap Abbeville AL
Kendall Moore Mobile AL
Cameron Ware Pinson AL
Hannah Irby Tuscaloosa AL
Hanna Sha Vestavia AL
Pranav Kishore Elk Grove CA
Monica Tavassoli Irvine CA
Zac Adler Long Beach CA
Gerard Legaspi Long Beach CA
Rachel Clinton Manhattan Beach CA
Reagan Smith Oceanside CA
Karina Garcia Ortiz San Diego CA
Jazmine Livian Spreckels CA
Arianna Cabada Tustin CA
Kieran Doolabh Danbury CT
Lauren Taylor Washington DC
Jacqueline Means Wilmington DE
Julia Shepherd Apopka FL
Marlon Griggs Jacksonville FL
Faith Daise Kissimmee FL
Anthony Taylor Miami FL
Jonathan Nabaka Miami Beach FL
Bransyl Boston Middleburg FL
Gabrielle Wright Orlando FL
Jalen Sanders Pinetta FL
Kevant Gross Reddick FL
Kendyll Gabriel Saint Johns FL
Amiah Adams Saint Petersburg FL
Grace Allen Windermere FL
Anthony Juba-Richardson Winter Garden FL
Mary Yeboah College Park GA
Malik Carter Dallas GA
Matthew Jackson Demorest GA
Henry Stephens iv Grovetown GA
April Breedlove Lithonia GA
Benedict Zuzi Loganville GA
Mikaela Sanders Mableton GA
Devan Smith Marietta GA
Makaya Clinton McDonough GA
Caleb Middleton McDonough GA
Patrice Roberts Smyrna GA
Myles Madden Stockbridge GA
Sean Hanford Stone Mountain GA
Alanis Broussard Woodstock GA
Isabel Schwartz Highland Park IL
Yvette Cabrera Portage IN
Akerth Jain Olathe KS
Samantha Gallant Bedford MA
Hannah Goldman Norton MA
Gabrielle Williams



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