Patrice R. is a 17-year-old high school senior from Symrna Ga. She was one of the 100 students selected to participate in the 2019 Disney Dreamers Academy. She wrote about her experience for a journalism project at the event.

Journalist. Business Analyst. Motivator. Entrepreneur. I’ve had a huge interest in these careers for the past four years. But I’ve been told my interests are too different and I should stick to one field. Still I pushed forward through my blog, Patrice’s Perspective, and tap into all these careers as a form of motivation for people. But sometimes, when doubt from naysayers seeps in, I get quiet and don’t talk about what I do in fear of being judged. That all stopped during my time at the Disney Dreamers Academy — I’ve learned to speak my goals no matter what.

Over the course of DDA, I’ve heard from many speakers who created their own careers lanes by following and speaking their dream. Mike Muse did just that. Through his Sirius XM radio show, Music x Politics, Muse intersects music, pop culture and policy. Initially he was met with disapproving comments for intersecting fields but he continued with his dream. “Go to your industry—don’t wait for an escort. Meet them there and do the work,” he said during the Handle Your Business Brand session. Muse’s words made me think, But what’s the fun of creating something that’s already been done? In that moment I knew my dream: To create a multi-media outlet for teen entrepreneurs and a marketplace for their products.

As we head back to our individual lives, I challenge everyone: listen to those big dreams and combine those career interests you may have through creativity, curiosity and hard-work. It might be start of something big.