High school students from Atlanta, Ga., 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. (258494)
Credit: Todd Anderson photo
Kellie C. (258490)

Kelli C. is a 17-year-old high school junior from Stockbridge, Ga. She was one of the 100 students selected to participate in the 2018 Disney Dreamers Academy. She wrote about her experience for a journalism project at the event.

Out of thousands of applications sent across the country, only 100 were chosen to be Dreamers. So what did we include in our essays that set us so greatly apart?

During Johnathan Sprinkles’ speech he called on three Dreamers to share the amazing stories they had shared. First was Junior, John Garret from Beverly Hills, Michigan, who traveled to Cuba last summer on an educational field trip. There he not only learned about Cuban culture, but he was also touched by the extreme need of children. This inspired John to design and create his own shoe for the children, which he entered into a business pitch think tank. His shoe won first place. It is John’s caring spirit and desire to help that makes him 100.

Next was Maia Dua, a senior from California who was named the Grand Prize winner of Marvel’s Captain America Civil War: Girls Reforming the Future Challenge for creating a robot designed to help guide the visually impaired. Her invention is not only helpful, but also cuts the expenses of a seeing-eye dog. Maia’s inspiration came from the difficulty she once experienced in training a pet dog. She thought to herself, “If I am having this much trouble taking care of a dog, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for a blind person.” An empathetic attitude and a savvy skill set make Maia 100.

Last was Senior Ryan Solis from EL Paso, Texas. Ryan shared with us that he is the youngest director ever of the commerce center. He is in his second term and blew us away with knowledge about his city’s economy and the relationship with the Mexican border. What inspires Ryan that his grandparents were immigrants and would be so proud of what he is accomplishing for his city. This year’s class of Dreamers is extremely dedicated, hands-on and talented. 100 for infinity.