The 2011 Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine continues a mission to annually bring together 100 high school students who want to ignite their lives, dreams and passions. However, the March 3-6 event at Walt Disney World Resort also will serve as a “make-up class” for 13 teens selected for the 2010 Academy which they were unable to attend due to winter-weather travel cancellations.
Combined with 100 high school students from 22 states and the District of Columbia selected for 2011, the class register this year will have 113 names on it, making it the largest in the four years of the program.
The program also has grown in other ways, including the participation of Essence Magazine for the first time.
Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks said, “Essence is closely aligned with Disney and Steve Harvey in supporting the mission of Disney’s Dreamers Academy and its commitment to positively impacting our youth. Disney’s Dreamers Academy is helping teens take steps in the right direction, and we want to be right there with the students, both encouraging them and sharing their stories.”
Tracey Walters-Powell, executive champion of the program for Disney Parks & Resorts, said, “Disney’s Dreamers Academy is a perfect platform to further the goal, shared by Disney Parks, Essence Communications and – it goes without saying – by Steve Harvey, to inspire children. We are genuinely excited about the possibilities ahead.”
It will be a watershed year as the students, selected from among thousands of applicants across the country, embark on customized itineraries based on their individual interests and aspirations. During hands-on experiences, they will explore a world of career options — from animation, through entrepreneurship, to zoology. They’ll be engaged with motivational speakers, Disney experts and celebrities — each with a special talent and an individual life story.
Participants for the 2011 Disney’s Dreamers Academy class were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including: Steve Harvey; Yolanda Adams (Gospel Music Legend); Angela Burt-Murray (former editor-in-chief, Essence Magazine); Dr. Steve Perry (Education Advocate and CNN commentator); Dalonte Hall (DDA Dreamer, Class of 2010); Terrence J (MTV Personality); Carole Munroe (Director of Media Relations, Disney Parks & Resorts); Tracey Powell (Director of Pricing, Disney Parks & Resorts); Stella Ringer (Marketing Manager, The Coca-Cola Company); Lorraine Robertson (Blogger) and Stephen A. Smith (Broadcaster/Sports Analyst).mong the celebrities for the 2011 Dreamers Academy is musical and theatrical talent, including Raven Simone, Ruben Studdard and Cupid.
“Each year we strive to find young people who may have a will or passion, but may not have the courage to explore their dreams.” Harvey said. “So we hope to unlock the power that will allow them to pursue their hearts’ desires. Walt Disney World, Essence Magazine and I are excited to be a part of these young Dreamers’ experience that will encourage them to bring their dreams to life.”
Disney’s Dreamers Academy is designed so that the teens can be inspired, discover possibilities and prepare for their future. For additional information, visit www.disneysdreamersacademy.com.
Walt Disney World Public Relations
Burrell Communications Group
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