Walt Disney World Resort recently announced the 100 teens selected for this year’s Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE magazine. The teens, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Walt Disney World Resort March 6-9, but they won’t be vacationing. Instead, they will participate in a once-in-a-lifetime, innovative, outside-the-classroom, educational mentoring program.

Entering its seventh year, Disney Dreamers Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire and fuel the dreams of teens, help them discover a world of possibilities and help them prepare for the future. Each year, students participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a bevy of career paths ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies.

Motivational speakers and celebrities share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and “dream big.” Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives.

“Over the past six years, we have helped 600 Dreamers unlock their potential and get started on their journeys in life,” said Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell. “The seventh Disney Dreamers Academy marks another year of continued motivation, education and success. Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Communications share in our vision of enriching lives. Everyone leaves this program inspired to live their best life.” 

Walt Disney World Resort— along with Harvey, a syndicated television and radio personality, and ESSENCE magazine—will host the Dreamers during their four-day power-packed career and educational exploration. Harvey, speaking on the program, said, “Disney Dreamers Academy gives hope and inspiration and exposes youth to a world of possibilities. We are excited about another opportunity to transform lives and give students an inside look at what their future can hold.”

ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, “We are excited about the seventh Disney Dreamers Academy. This program transcends the normal classroom setting, taking learning to the next level. This year we plan to go above and beyond to encourage Dreamers. Our valued partnership with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey represents our commitment to the leaders of tomorrow.”

This year’s 100 students were selected from nearly 10,000 applicants—the most applicants in the history of the program—by a panel of judges representing the best in their fields that included Powell, Harvey and Ebanks. Applicants answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories and dreams. 

The following is a list of Dreamers from the New York-New Jersey area: Moorea Cioppa, Brick, N.J.; Cheyenne Allen, East Orange, N.J.; Davonté Drayden, Jersey City N.J.; Sahking Mathis, Montclair, N.J.; Avia Anderson, Bronx, N.Y.; Daniel Anikwue, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Chelsea Mina, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Madison Mack, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Tiana Young, Spring Valley, N.Y.

For more information, visit www.disneysdreamersacademy.com.