Get ready to be inspired! The 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE kicks off today at Walt Disney World. 100 high school students and their parents arrive to Walt Disney World for an all-expenses paid weekend of education, entertainment and encouragement to bring their dreams to live.
For the past nine years ESSENCE has proudly partnered with this incredible event shaping the lives of the world’s next leaders. This year ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks will deliver the keynote address at commencement, Editor-at-large Mikki Taylor will host ESSENCE of You, a women’s empowerment night for the girls and ESSENCE Lifestyle Editor Charreah Jackson will teach the journalism course and help students prepare a newsletter covering the weekend.
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Throughout the program, Dreamers engage in immersive workshops for various career paths, using Walt Disney World Resort as their classroom. Students leave with real-world experience from putting on scrubs and preparing to perform surgery to learning how animations are created for Disney.
Along with insight from host Steve Harvey, other celebrities share their journey. This year’s speakers include Tamera Mowry, Loni Love, Lamman Rucker, Lance Gross, Lisa Nichols, MC Lyte, Brely Evans and Naturi Naughton.
A few of the 2016 Dreamers share their goals:
“I plan to develop cities around the world because I want to make a difference in how people live.” - Adenike M
“I aspire to become an orthopedic surgeon because I enjoy helping people.” - Autumn J
“I hope to become an elasmobranchologist, a marine biologist who specializes in sharks and rays.” - Deja K
“My goal is to become a psychologist in the mental health field and hope to make this world a better place.” - Dyamond B
“My dream is to become a movie director and to give people hope and new perspectives on different issues through my movies.” - Jaelyn E
“My dream is to cure many people and be an asset in the medical field’s fight for a cure to end all diseases.” - Jamya P
It’s never too late for any of us to follow our dreams!
Follow #DDADisney for inspiration throughout the weekend and visit disneydreamersacademy.com for information on how the teens in your life can apply.