Teens get hands-on experience at Disney Dreamers Academy

Cyril Josh Barker | 3/7/2015, 9:12 a.m.
“Dreams, Passions, Possibilities” was the theme for the second day of the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence ...
Actor Lamman Rucker and Bishop T.D. Jakes were among the speakers on the second day of the Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World. Cyril Josh Barker

ORLANDO, Fla. - “Dreams, Passions, Possibilities” was the theme for the second day of the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence magazine on Friday. Along with hearing inspirational speeches, Dreamers attended hands-on workshops in various career fields around Walt Disney World.

On Friday morning Harvey hosted his nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” radio program from the ESPN Club at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. He highlighted the mission of the Disney Dreamers Academy as well as his vision for the teens.

The Dreamers attended the “Each One Teach One” program in the morning where they learned valuable skills about networking and leadership.

Speakers during the day included former Disney Dreamers Academy alumnus and motivational speaker, Princeton Parker, Steve Harvey’s children, Wynton and Karli, motivational speaker Jonathan Sprinkles, Bishop T.D. Jakes and Lisa Nichols.

Tracey D. Powell, Vice President of Deluxe Resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion, hosted programming during the day for parents.

“We want the Dreamers to come here and dream big,” Powell said. “They can come here and take an opportunity to dream about what they want to do and what their passions are and discover the possibilities.”

In the afternoon the Dreamers participated in “Deep Dives” at Disney University and throughout the Disney Park. Dreamers were given a more personalized experience in small groups based on their career interests.

Dreamer Tarriya Hanley, 16, from the Bronx is an aspiring actress and participated in a “Deep Dive” session with actor Lamman Rucker.

“My dream is to become an actress and make TV shows, movies and documentaries to inspire others all over the world with any type of circumstances they’re in,” she said. “I hope to gain knowledge and I want to gain courage. I don’t have a lot of courage right now and I hope to gain a lot of that.”

Irvington, N.J. Dreamer Johnathan Johnson participated in a “Deep Dive” about music production at Disney’s music recording studio. He’s a singer, rapper and producer and wants to get into the music industry.

“I’ve been playing drums since I could pick up sticks,” he said. “I hope to gain guidance this weekend. For a Dreamer, we have an idea of what we want to do but we don’t know the steps to take. Coming here, all I’ve been learning are the steps to take and things I can apply to my life immediately.”

The day ended with a presentation by Chef Jeff Henderson who shared his story on how he went from serving prison time to being a famed chef and author.

On Saturday, the Dreamers are being split up into male and female groups to participate in sessions about image awareness with Brandi and Karli Harvey and Dr. Alex Ellis.

Famed educator Dr. Steve Perry, Essence Communication, Inc. president Michele Ebanks and author Sonia Jackson Myles are hosting presentations. Several celebrities including Terrence J, Coco Jones, Lance Gross and Will Packer are participating in a panel discussion.