By Ryan Velez
The application period for the Disney Dreamers Academy is almost coming to a close on October 31st. If your child is on the fence of trying to be one of the 100 high school students to participate in the program, Black Enterprise has put together an article explaining what it has to offer.
“After 10 years and over 1,000 Disney Dreamer alumni, we’re excited to begin the next decade of Disney Dreamers Academy,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World Resort vice president of commercial management resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion, in a press release.
“We are excited about the opportunity to add to the many success stories, as this program continues to cultivate the minds of young high school students from across the nation and inspire them to follow their dreams and accomplish their goals,” Powell continued. “By applying for Disney Dreamers Academy, future leaders of this country are taking a step toward an experience that can change their lives.”
Students 13 to 19 need to answer essay questions as a part of their application, regarding their dreams for the future. Here are some of the traits that Disney is looking for:
• Intellectual curiosity – creative and quick-witted
• Compassion – gives to others who need assistance
• Courage – overcomes obstacles, brave, spirited, survivor
• Leadership ability – the go-to person who pursues ideas with passion
Black Enterprise spoke with a graduate of the program, Robert D. Jackson, who has since become a professional actor, community activist, and educational consultant.
“I remember going to Walt Disney World for the first time. That was also the first time for my family to travel outside of Texas, which was very significant for me and my family. First time they were ever on planes—and I think that in and of itself was an experience,” Jackson says.
“I got there and I was overwhelmed by just the amount of people, the amount of resources, the amount of love and support that was given to every dreamer that was selected.”
“As a student I remember being in a place of like, ‘I have so much untapped potential that I don’t even know I possess.’ The four-day experience gave me clarity that I didn’t really have access to [previously].”
“I knew that this is something that, in the future, I wanted to have for other students. I want us to continue to push the importance of giving students access to believe in their dreams. It really opens the door to so many things we don’t even recognize as 13- to 18-year-olds. And it wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the Disney Dreamers Academy.”