Landmark 15th Year of Disney Dreamers Academy Program Awaits 2022 Class of Talented High School Students

BlackPressUSA News

Established by Walt Disney World in 2008, Disney Dreamers Academy’s mission is to inspire young leaders to dream beyond imagination by providing life-long access to personalized support for the Disney Dreamer, their caregivers and community through insightful content and uplifting experts, mentors and sponsors.

The exclusive Walt Disney World Resort mentorship event that fosters the dreams of Black students and teens from underrepresented communities plans to return in March with reimagined programming and a new group of outstanding high school students

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney Dreamers Academy, an educational mentorship program created and hosted by Walt Disney World Resort, plans to return with a reimagined approach, March 3-6, marking its 15th year of broadening career awareness and creating exclusive opportunities for Black students and teens from underrepresented communities across America.

This year, the impactful program will introduce the Disney Dreamers to an array of new immersions designed to continue to foster the dreams of young leaders beyond imagination, including career-building workshops, networking sessions, mentorship connections and introductions to future professional opportunities at The Walt Disney Company and beyond.

For its 15th year, Disney Dreamers Academy is supporting students in even more ways. In a new initiative, Disney Dreamers Academy, in partnership with ESPN’s The Undefeated and GRAMMY-nominated rap artist Cordae, is awarding college scholarships to 11 students from underrepresented communities attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The Disney Dreamers program is an important part of Disney’s commitment to supporting diverse communities, such as Black America, by encouraging the next generation to think big 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.

“We are excited and honored to celebrate 15 years of Disney Dreamers Academy with this year’s class,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World Resort Vice President and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “We’ve embraced this opportunity to amplify the event, and we’re thrilled to introduce new experiences, new career programs and new mentors.”

Since 2008, Disney Dreamers Academy has inspired more than 1,300 students from across the country by fueling their dreams and showing them a world of possibilities as they prepare for their futures. In the years following, graduates have gone on to become doctors, nurses, engineers, pilots, journalists and more, and have transitioned into mentors to the Disney Dreamers who follow them, including event speaker Princeton Parker (Class of 2011), who is now a Disney cast member.

Each year the Disney Dreamers are selected from thousands of applicants who answer essay questions about their personal stories and dreams for the future. The students and a parent or guardian are given an all-expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida for the event.

These Disney Dreamers engage in a wide variety of experiences at Walt Disney World while working side-by-side with and hearing inspirational stories from community and business leaders, Disney cast members, celebrities and other special guests.

During the four-day event, the 100 students selected for the annual program participate in sessions teaching valuable life tools such as leadership skills, effective communication techniques and networking strategies. They also experience in-depth career workshops in a variety of disciplines aligned with the students’ dreams. These workshops introduce the Disney Dreamers to diverse career paths within business, entertainment and sciences, including career opportunities within The Walt Disney Company.

Past celebrity participants have included stars from the big screen and television, noted sports figures, popular musicians as well as personalities and cast members from across the Disney family including “Good Morning America,’’ ESPN, Disney Channel and the TV series “black-ish” and “grown-ish.”

For more information, visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com. Regular updates about Disney Dreamers Academy are also available on social media at Facebook.com/DisneyDreamersAcademy, Twitter.com/DreamersAcademy and Instagram.com/disneydreamersacademy.

The 100 students selected to participate in the 2022 Disney Dreamers Academy are (listed by state):

Nolan Hatcher, Birmingham, AL

Ava Cocke, Fairhope, AL

Mackenzie Hill, Hazel Green, AL

Jaynie Turner, Helena, AL

Tylor Anderson, Mobile, AL

Prisha Shroff, Chandler, AZ

Annalise Jones, Mesa, AZ

Alex Zhang, Cupertino, CA

Jamila Abdelkarim, Fullerton, CA

Katherine Lawler, Livermore, CA

Roi Clinton, Manhattan Beach, CA

Kevin Gonzalez Ramirez, San Diego, CA

Kayli Joy Cooper, Studio City, CA

Sophia Mitsuoka, Centennial, CO

Caleb Hatch, Colorado Springs, CO

McKenzie Williams, Boca Raton, FL

Christianna Alexander, Jacksonville, FL

Zachary Andrews, Jacksonville, FL

Khushi Talluru, Lakewood Ranch, FL

Isabella Puglisi, Miami Shores, FL

Roxie Richbourg, Orlando, FL

Javier Lageyre, Weston, FL

Ramon Abreu, Windermere, FL

Azriel Melvin, Atlanta, GA

Jordyn Spencer, Atlanta, GA

Nathanael Occilien-Similien, Covington, GA

MiCai Haywood, Fairburn, GA

Cedaisia Talton, Fort Valley, GA

Amia Georges, Marietta, GA

Ryann Richards, Powder Springs, GA

Ilarose Robinson, Riverdale, GA

Abigail Smith, Statesboro, GA

Kayla Nelson, Frankfort, IL

Reagan Sturgis, Cambridge Cty, IN

Alison Yee, Leawood, KS

Hrilina Rakhs, Gretna, LA

Elizabeth Garder, Mandeville, LA

Rose Warfield, Grafton, MA

Lance Carr, Clarksburg, MD

Kemery Oparah, Clinton, MD

Danielle Nelson, Columbia, MD

Kaiya Jones, Ellicott City, MD

Whitley Shields, Fort Washington, MD

CiaRa Sejour, Ft Washington, MD

Caleb Oh, Gambrills, MD

Amber Johnson, Oxon Hill, MD

Olivia Jones, Silver Spring, MD

Miyana Holden, Bloomfield Hills, MI

Alexis Cornett, Highland, MI

Sean Shelbrock, Montrose, MI

Maxwell Parney, Rochester, MN

Michael Wren, Florissant, MO

Bryce Allen, Charlotte, NC

Journi Kirby, Concord, NC

Joshua Hanflink, Greensboro, NC

Britney Nyabaro, Wake Forest, NC

Maya Roseboro, Wilmington, NC

Justin Fountain, Winston Salem, NC

Diya Nair, Avenel, NJ

Denia Smith, Belle Mead, NJ

Darius Brown, Newark, NJ

Kendall Henderson, Robbinsville, NJ

Alexis Halm, South Orange, NJ

Abibat Akinyele Yusifu, Bronx, NY

Elsa Woodarek, Ellicottville, NY

Malaya Talavera, Hicksville, NY

Michael Taggart, Jamaica, NY

Justin Alvarez, New York, NY

Darcie Wu, New York, NY

Aaliyah Summons, Port Jervis, NY

Cyruss Bell, Rochester, NY

Naeema Baksh, Rosedale, NY

Sanaalee Troupe, Uniondale, NY

Annabel Long, Bexley, OH

Isabella Green, Cleveland, OH

Nolan Pastore, Hartville, OH

Meghana Boda, Lewis Center, OH

Skylar Blumenauer, Massillon, OH

Emma Jeffrey, Yukon, OK

Kyler Wang, Portland, OR

Bethany Washington, Hanover, PA

Zachary Sullivan, Pittsburgh, PA

Arianna Gaiter, Pittsburgh, PA

Victoria Ren, Sewickley, PA

Tyra Jefferson, Columbia, SC

Cadence Brown, Williston, SC

Samuel Draper, Converse, TX

Mason Thenor, Cypress, TX

Andre Scott, Humble, TX

Baani Sandhu, Irving, TX

Destiny Weeden, Killeen, TX

Maya Burns, McKinney, TX

Elizabeth Mielke Prosper, TX

Marcus Drake, Rockwall, TX

Theodore Hervey, San Antonio, TX

Myles Bracey-Hairston, Lorton, VA

Audrey Zorrilla, Midlothian, VA

Kortney Bostic, Shenandoah, VA

Samantha Haywood, Vienna, VA

Simmi Sen, Vancouver, WA

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