Alexis Helm (top), Michael Taggart and Abibat Akinyele Yusifu (right) Credit: Photos courtesy of Disney Dreamers Academy

Six local high school students from New York and New Jersey are preparing for the 15th annual Disney Dreamers Academy March 3-6 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The teens, along with a parent or guardian, received an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort, where they will take part in a once-in-a-lifetime educational and mentoring program designed to inspire them to dream big, discover a world of possibilities and prepare for their future.

This year’s winners from the New York-metro area include Abibat Akinyele from the Bronx; Justin Alvarez from Manhattan; Darius Brown from Newark, NJ; Alexis Halm from East Orange, NJ; Michael Taggart from Jamaica, Queens; and Darcie Wu from Manhattan.

They are part of a group of 100 students from across the nation attending the four-day event where they’ll learn important skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies, and build confidence.

Students were selected from nearly a thousand applicants who answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories, the people who are most influential in their lives and their dreams for the future.

During Disney Dreamers Academy, the Walt Disney World theme parks become “classrooms,” where Dreamers participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops led by industry experts covering a bevy of career paths, ranging from animation to zoology.

Each year, motivational speakers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, executives and Disney cast members gather at Disney Dreamers Academy to share their stories and provide insight on charting a positive course and achievement.

“We are excited and honored to celebrate 15 years of Disney Dreamers Academy with this year’s class,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World Resort Vice President and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “We’ve embraced this opportunity to amplify the event, and we’re thrilled to introduce new experiences, new career programs and new mentors.”

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