Disney Dreamers Academy alumni, from left, Gabrielle Wright, Anthony Juba-Richardson and Julia Shepherd pose for a photo in front of Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. On Aug. 6, 2020, Disney Dreamers Academy will hold a virtual event this fall and, for the first time in the program’s history, offer career shadow externships for all 100 members of the class (295854)
Credit: David Roark photo

The Disney Dreamers Academy will take place virtually this fall and, for the first time in its history, offer career shadow externships for all 100 members of the class.

Just like past Disney Dreamers Academy events, the virtual experience will deliver life lessons and tools such as effective communication techniques, leadership skills and networking strategies. This version of the program will do so with self-paced workshops, interactive video-conferencing sessions, networking opportunities and more, led by top speakers and industry professionals.

Following the virtual experience, all 100 students will be placed into career shadowing externships based on their dream professions so they can receive personal insight and advice from mentors.

The announcement of this new Disney Dreamers Academy experience was made Aug. 5 at the virtual NABJ/NAHJ convention by Tracey D. Powell, Disney Signature Experiences vice president and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. The original, in-person 2020 Disney Dreamers Academy program was shortened earlier this year due to the temporary closure of Walt Disney World Resort.

“We were disappointed to have to cut this year’s event short due to the pandemic, and we knew we had to create something extra special for this outstanding group of high school students,” said Powell. “We expect to deliver an immersive, informative and inspirational experience that will impact these Disney Dreamers just as the traditional program has done for more than a decade.”

The program, now in its 13th year, is a part of Walt Disney World’s commitment to helping the next generation of young people by inspiring them at a critical time in their development. The Disney Dreamers Academy theme is “Be100,” encouraging teens to be positive, to be “all in” and to carry what they learn back with them so they can pursue their dreams and make a difference in the lives of others.