Four local area high school students are preparing for the 10th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine March 9 through March 12 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
The teens, along with a parent or guardian, received an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort, where they will take part in a once-in-a-lifetime educational and mentoring program designed to inspire them to dream big, discover a world of possibilities and prepare for their future.
This year’s winners from the New York-metro area are Jalil H., Keon H. from the Bronx, Emanuel J. from Brooklyn, Damiana R. from Staten Island and Rouwaida N. from Newark, N.J.
They are part of a group of 100 students from across the nation attending the four-day event where they’ll learn important skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies.
This year’s students were selected from thousands of applicants who answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories, the people who are most influential in their lives and their dreams for the future.
During Disney Dreamers Academy, the Walt Disney World theme parks become “classrooms,” where Dreamers participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops led by industry experts and covering a bevy of career paths, ranging from animation to zoology.
Steve Harvey, syndicated radio and television personality, along with ESSENCE and Walt Disney World Resort, will host selected Dreamers.
“Giving back is important to me, and especially to our youth—our future leaders, entrepreneurs and aspiring artists,” said Harvey. “We’ve seen more than 900 committed students come through the program.”
Each year, motivational speakers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, executives and Disney cast members gather at Disney Dreamers Academy to share their stories and provide insight on charting a positive course toward achievement.
“We’re excited to welcome back Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE for the 10th year,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts vice president of deluxe resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “This program is unique for the opportunity it affords teens to be inspired and motivated to accomplish their goals.”
ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks said the students are in store for an experience that will allow them to reach new heights.
“ESSENCE has been honored to help identify the next generation of big dreamers and welcome them to Walt Disney World Resort for a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she said. “This 10th year will be no exception, and we’re delighted to further play a role in setting our future leaders on the path to success.”