Local students prepare for inspiring trip to Disney World for Dreamers Academy

Cyril Josh Barker | 1/23/2019, 8:20 a.m.
Local students prepare for inspiring trip to Disney World for Dreamers Academy.
High school students from across the United States star in a special parade Thursday, March 8, at Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. to signal the beginning of the 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE magazine. The event, taking place March 8-11, 2018 at Walt Disney World Resort, is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students. Todd Anderson photo

Local students prepare for inspiring trip to Disney World for Dreamers Academy

The teens, along with a parent or guardian, received an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort, where they will take part in a once-in-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 New York City are Katerina Corr from Manhattan, Tori Manuel from Brooklyn, Meril Mousoom from Jamaica, Queens, Aileen Nieto Martinez from the Bronx, Alison Parish from the Bronx, Avaneque Pennant from Hollis, Queens and Eason Rytter from the Manhattan.

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, build confidence.

This year’s students were selected from nearly thousands 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. 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.

“Having a dream is one of the most important things in life. My success is a direct result of dreaming big,” said Harvey. “It is my passion to help others dream bigger and to give them the tools to achieve those dreams. That is why I enjoy partnering with Disney on this program every year.”

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 and achievement.

“These students are in for a life-changing experience,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World Resort vice president and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “Our goal is to help them see the unlimited possibilities and to inspire them to achieve their full purpose - to become the heroes of their own stories.”

ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks said the students are in store for an experience that will allow them to reach new heights.

“We have a remarkable group of students attending this year,” she said. “At ESSENCE, we embrace the mission of inspiring the next generation of leaders, and we’re looking forward to partnering with Disney once again to cultivate greatness in the 2019 class.”