Every year, the Disney Dreamers Academy chooses 100 promising teenagers from across the country to take a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and pursue their dreams.
“Do they want something? And once they get that something, what are they doing to help other people?” asked inspirational speaker Jonathan Sprinkles, who is on the selection committee for this year’s Dreamers.
Disney brings in the best role models to help students pinpoint that one thing they want to do with their lives. For the past six years, 100 high school students, each accompanied by a parent or guardian, met high-level professionals from across the country. From fashion designers to famous pop stars to engineers and scientists, the various professionals met with students one-on-one.
“Dreams are the blueprint of who you are,” said academy alumni Husain Abd’Allah. “As a Disney Dreamer, I came to realize it’s not about knowing everything, it’s about knowing enough to help those around you.”
Last week, Abd’Allah and his sister Zahra Abd’Allah, who is also an alumni of the academy, accompanied by Dreamers Academy mentor Terrance J., sat down to talk about their own dreams.
Husain Abd’Allah said he was more confident in his dream to become a public speaker, and Zahra Abd’Allah explained how her dream to become a doctor had actually changed altogether because of her experience at the academy. She is now studying communications in college.
“You see the transformation happening,” said Tanisha Sykes of Essence magazine, talking about the students’ progress during the program. “You see that the ride has turned and change has come.”
For any students looking to become dreamers themselves, this year’s application deadline is Oct. 31 and potential dreamers in grades nine through 12 can apply at www.disneydreamersacademy.com/be-a-dreamer/apply.