Recently, we marked another milestone occasion at Walt Disney World Resort with the 10th annual Disney Dreamers Academy. With the completion of this year’s event, more than 1,000 teens have now completed the program designed to unlock the potential of high school students by inspiring and educating them on how to dream big and achieve those dreams.
This year’s 100 participating students, also known as Dreamers, were selected from among thousands of applicants from across the nation to travel all-expenses-paid to Walt Disney World, where they became the newest members the program’s legacy.
In celebration of the 10th annual event, alumni from each previous class of Disney Dreamers Academy were brought back to share their stories and provide mentorship. Using the tools and inspiration they received from Disney Dreamers Academy, they’ve gone on to become a Hollywood choreographer, a captain in the U.S. Army, entrepreneurs, humanitarians and more.
A variety of guest celebrities joined Disney Dreamers Academy to celebrate its 10th year and share their advice for dreaming big, including NFL Quarterback Cam Newton, Empire actor Bryshere Gray and actor Tahj Mowry.
Other highlights from the 10th annual event included:
- Dreamers learning the process for designing attractions and programming robots with Disney Imagineers
- Intimate networking opportunities with top professionals in their fields including President of Essence Communications Michelle Ebanks, noted educator and author Dr. Steve Perry and multiple Disney executives
- A candid and moving spoken-word poem performance by Dreamer William W. about overcoming his personal hardships as a student, followed by his classmates rushing the stage to embrace him in a group hug
- An emotional commencement ceremony featuring an inspirational speech from ABC News Correspondent T.J. Holmes and a special surprise performance by the legendary Patti LaBelle
Check out this video of some of those memorable moments and more.
U.S. students ages 13-19 interested in the 2018 program should keep an eye on DisneyDreamersAcademy.com, as well as Facebook.com/DisneyDreamersAcademy and Twitter at @DreamersAcademy, for information on how to apply for next year’s event.