Students at the Disney Dreamers Academy attend a "Deep Dive" session on technology Credit: Cyril Josh Barker photo

ORLANDO, Fla. – Youth listened to inspirational speakers and got the chance to experience their future careers on the second day of the Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World on Friday. 

The theme for the day was “DISCOVER THE POSSIBILITIES.” Along with hearing inspirational speeches, Dreamers participated in hands-on workshops in various career fields around Walt Disney World.

The Dreamers attended the 15th Anniversary Alumni Roundtable “The Power of a Dream” in the morning where they learned valuable skills about networking and leadership. Speakers at the roundtable included 2022-2023 Walt Disney World Ambassador Raevon Redding and Princeton Parker. Disney Dreamers Academy Alumni also joined the conversation Sanah Jivani, N’Naserri Carew-Johnson, Avery Davis Kayla Michele and Ashley and April Breedlove.

Disney Dreamers Academy alumni Credit: Cyril Josh Barker photo

“I’m hoping the the young people this weekend really get one thing: that their dreams and their goals are endless,” Redding said. “They can accomplish anything they want. And being here at the Walt Disney World Resort, there’s a huge playground of creation, imagination and magic. I hope thet get that the theri dreams are real and their goals can be accomplished.

Later in the morning, students attended the Disney Dreamers Academy Career Academy Exposes. They were divided by their professional interests to hear from and network with Disney cast members and other professionals about a vast array of career opportunities.

The Academy of Entertainment, Design, Media, Sports & Storytelling was led by entertainment reporters Kelley Carter, the Academy of Business, Social Media, & Service Careers was led by Princeton Parker and the Academy of Sciences, Technology, & Storytelling was led by music executive Mike Muse.

“I’m really hoping that they take something and put some good out in the world,” Carter said. That’s really what its all about. Finding connections with people and networking, figuring out how to navigate the world outside of high school, college and their professional journey. I just want to see people come back and share their own stories the way that some of the alumni come and and inspire the kids.”

Kelly Carter Credit: Cyril Josh Barker photo

In the afternoon the Dreamers participated in “Deep Dives” at Disney University and throughout the Disney Park. Dreamers were given a more personalized experience in small groups based on their career interests.

Abibat Akinyele Yusifu,15, from Mott Haven in the Bronx was selected to participate in this year’s Dreamers Academy. She hopes to be a CEO and wants to fuse her passion for technology with business.

“It’s great to see so many motivated kids around me just like me,” she said. I never knew you could combine multiple interests into one. I was torn between technology and business but the fact that it can be put together is perfect. I want to bring inspiration back to the community.”

Disney Dreamer Abibat Akinyele Yusifu, 15, from Bronx, NY

In the evening, the students attended the “Be 100 Empowerment Networking Dinner” where they saw a performance from the group The Shindellas and heard from National Spelling Bee Champion Zaila Avant Garde, entrepreneur Branden Thompson and Bryce Thompson and Nwaka Olusa.

The day ended with the “Be 100 Empowerment Session” where the students were split up based on their interests including entertainment careers, service careers and science and tech careers. 

The Shindellas Credit: Cyril Josh Barker photo

On Saturday, the Dreamers are participating in a session about image awareness presented by Mikki Taylor, Misa Hylton, Jerome Lamar and Lisa Nichols.

A collection of celebrities and other accomplished professionals will also share personal lessons about achieving their dreams. The panel will include recording artist Bethany Donaphin, fashion designer Kerby Jean-Raymond and retired NBA player Quentin “Que” Richardson.

Dreamers will showcase what they learned and created during their “Deep Dives” in the evening.

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