The program has the goal of inspiring and fueling the dreams of teens and helping them prepare for the future. Each year, 100 students are chosen from thousands of applicants to travel to the Walt Disney World Resort to participate in exclusive career workshops in a wide range of career paths, networking sessions and fun in the parks.
For more, check out this video, in which “E! News” co-anchor Terrance Jenkins shares what he loves about being involved in the program.
The program is funded entirely by cast members through regular payroll deductions or one-time donations. Those who contribute during the year have the opportunity to nominate an organization for a grant up to $5,000.
This year, in honor of the 30th anniversary of Disney VoluntEARS, 10 of those organizations each received an additional $25,000, including the Esperanza Entertainment Unit at Esperanza High School in Anaheim. See their reaction in this video!
Other organizations that received the special $30,000 grants include:
Beckstrand Cancer Association, Newport Beach
Boys and Girls Club of Tustin, Tustin
California Women’s Recovery/The Lynn House, Costa Mesa
The Children’s Bureau of Southern California, Huntington Beach
At the Disneyland Resort and throughout our parks and resorts worldwide, it is important to us to find new ways to sustain our environment and conserve our natural resources. That’s why earlier this week, Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier and Director of Environmental Affairs Frank Dela Vara joined Marine Life Artist Wyland and Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach to help unveil Adopt A Channel, a new, countywide program that promotes environmental stewardship to keep our waterways clean!
Throughout Orange County, Calif., more than 350 miles of regional flood control channels provide a vital service of protecting life and property from flooding hazards. Unfortunately, these channels collect trash, debris and other pollutants, which, if not removed, end up in the Pacific Ocean.
Over the last year, the Disneyland Resort piloted the program, adopting a two-mile section of the Anaheim-Barber City Channel that flows west of the Disneyland Resort to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. To date, nearly 600 pounds of trash and 12,000 square feet of graffiti have been removed.
OC Public Works is now expanding Adopt A Channel countywide to give other organizations and individuals an opportunity to Adopt A Channel in Orange County and keep our ocean healthy!
Hi, I’m Bernadette, Manager of External Communications at Walt Disney World and a fan of HBCU football. Ever since my college days, I’ve loved watching the bands, spending time with my family and cheering my favorite team.
For the past few months, I’ve been part of the team preparing for the 9th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, which gets underway this weekend. Televised on ESPN and tied to the start of college football season, the game will feature a gridiron battle between the Florida A&M Rattlers (MEAC) and Mississippi Valley State Devils (SWAC) at the Citrus Bowl in Downtown Orlando. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:45 a.m.
While the game is certainly at the center of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, it really is more than just a game.
The four-day celebration includes a full weekend of activities, ranging from a Legends Reception that recognizes Historically Black College and University alumni to a Bands Showcase at Epcot. What I love most about the MEAC/SWAC Challenge is how it underscores the importance of diversity and higher education.
Today, Evans High School got the first taste of MEAC/SWAC activities with the ESPN 101 Career Panel. More than 900 students received career advice from prominent sports personalities and executives who had one clear message: “You don’t have to be ‘on’ the field to be successful ‘in’ the field of sports.”
Panelists, including Jay Harris from ESPN and Latonya Johnson from Walt Disney World Resort shared their personal stories and advice on how students who are passionate about sports can pursue a career in sports business, journalism and broadcasting, among others.
Read on for additional posts about the MEAC/SWAC Challenge:
Our founder, Walt Disney, left us with an amazing legacy of making dreams come true, not only for our guests in our parks but also for those who live in our community. One of his most meaningful contributions was supporting the development of CHOC Children’s Hospital in the early 1960s, and it is with tremendous pride that we continue our support for CHOC more than five decades later. As the new president of the Disneyland Resort and a new CHOC board member, I’m looking forward to participating in my first CHOC Walk in the Park and welcoming thousands of walkers, cast members and volunteers to the Disneyland Resort on October 13.
To date, this event has raised more than $21 million, funding health care programs, education and research projects that bring comfort and new hope to families throughout Southern California. If you haven’t participated with us before, and you’re going to be in the neighborhood in mid-October, sign up and walk with us. Just imagine the sight of so many people walking the entire Disneyland Resort (both parks and the Downtown Disney District) for such a great cause. Of course, we’ll add some special Disney touches along the route that will make the event even more fun.
Registration for this year’s CHOC Walk in the Park is open and teams have already begun to form. There is more information at www.chocwalk.org. Thanks for your support – and see you there!
Each month, with the support of Walt Disney World Resort Community Relations, Disney’s Animal Programs and Entertainment cast members partner to bring some wonderful programs to kids, ranging from toddlers to teenagers. The programs include educational presentations, interactive activities, animal encounters and special appearances by Disney characters. And for kids who are unable to leave their rooms to attend a program, we make individual room visits to bring the fun to the kids.
The kids really get into trying to figure out which animal is the fastest, strongest, largest, etc., during our “Awesome Animals” program. And they are amazed at what animals can be found right in their own backyards during our “Backyard Buddies” program. Another favorite is the “Caring for Animals” program – there are nods of understanding all around when kids learn that our animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom undergo many of the same procedures when they are cared for by our veterinary team as the kids do when they receive care from the hospital medical team.
During these visits, it’s hard to say who has the better time, us or the kids!
Duckies, duckies everywhere! Thousands of ducks decorated by Disney Cruise Line guests and crew members on all four ships swirled through the ships’ pools and water coasters recently to take part in the first “AquaDucky Derby” rubber duck races to raise nearly $14,000 for Make-A-Wish International.
Aboard the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy, rubber ducks were placed at the top of the AquaDuck and with the crowd counting down and the sounds of “Wipe Out” playing over the sound system, 10,000 gallons of water rushed into the flume sending the ducks racing through the water coaster’s tunnel and around the ship’s upper decks before splashing down at the finish line.
Aboard the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, guests and crew voted using applause for the unofficial best decorated duck while One Direction’s song, “That’s What Makes You Beautiful,” played in the background. For the official race, guests and crew splashed and kicked a current to carry the critters to the opposite side of the Goofy pool.
All funds raised from the duck sales are being donated to a very worthy cause – Make-A-Wish International, an organization that grants wishes for children facing life-threatening medical conditions in 48 countries outside of the U.S. Since the first-ever official wish experience 32 years ago, Disney has helped grant more than 81,000 wishes globally and is involved in nearly 50 percent of the wishes granted each year.
The events saluted the 30th anniversary of the Disney VoluntEARS program, which provides opportunities for Disney cast and crew members to donate their time to worthy causes around the world. Events like this are just a small part of Disney’s commitment to give back to local communities through in-kind donations and the efforts of Disney VoluntEARS. In 2012, Disney Cruise Line cast and crew members completed 75 community outreach projects and donated more than 4,500 hours of personal service to nonprofit organizations, working both onboard the ships and in communities across Central Florida, The Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe. Additionally, Disney Cruise Line provided more than $640,000 in charitable and in-kind donations to organizations supporting children, families and the environment.
Today, I am thrilled to show you the magic we shared over the weekend when Disney VoluntEARS, along with beloved Disney characters, assisted in delivering and hanging the mural at the Hospital General de Catalunya. The mural delivery and hospital visit showcases just one way Disney Cruise Line is committed to giving back to communities in ports of call around the world.
Scott Feight, executive director of the Foundation for Hospital Art, told us this was one of the largest murals they have ever created. “Seeing the reaction of the children here today showcases the true power of our mission of utilizing art to uplift the spirit and support healing in hospitals around the world,” he said.
Disney VoluntEARS also visited with the children in the hospital, which is one of many community outreach projects taking place to deliver toys and smiles to deserving children in the port communities along Disney’s Mediterranean itineraries this summer.
Nearly 300 Disney Cruise Line guests and crew members are able to showcase their artistic talents while volunteering for a great cause this week aboard the Disney Magic’stransatlantic crossing to Barcelona, Spain, in an event called PaintFest at Sea. Through a partnership with the Foundation for Hospital Art, the fun-spirited group is painting 72 canvases during that will be assembled into a 9-foot tall by 24-foot long mural.
The mural, featuring characters from “The Little Mermaid” and designed by Disney artist, Don “Ducky” Williams, will take more than 500 hours to complete, and will be a fitting salute to the 30th Anniversary of the Disney VoluntEARS program. When the ship arrives in Barcelona on Saturday, the mural will be presented to a local children’s hospital near the port.
See the podcast of the painting here. Look for coverage of the mural delivery and installation on my blog post next week.
Hundreds of rubber ducks raced around the world for a cause at the 5th annual “it’s a small world” duck race! Cast members sponsored and decorated the ducks to raise more than $1,800 for Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire before Disneyland park opened for the day.
The cast fundraiser carries forward the attraction’s legacy of supporting children, dating back to the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair when it was created in honor of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
While cast members waited anxiously to see which rubber duck would race through “it’s a small world” fastest, we sent along our camera to capture the journey and winners!