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Dreams Within Reach: Cast Members Across The U.S. Celebrate One-Year of Disney Aspire

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Today we’re celebrating one year of Disney Aspire! Since launching, cast have seized the opportunity to put their #DreamsWithinReach, and you’re invited to join this major milestone as we celebrate our cast member’s collective achievements.  

Our $150 million education investment offers 90,000+ eligible cast and employees the opportunity to enroll at network schools with 100% of tuition paid upfront. Aspire is already changing lives with 40%+ of eligible cast signed up to participate and 8,000+ enrolled. With 200+ degree and 80+ certificate options offering everything from language learning programs to trade programs or even bachelor’s and master’s degrees, the program continues to welcome new participants and expand its network of offerings, with additions like University of Arizona – announced last week – as well as designated backstage study areas and one-on-one coaching.

Let’s catch up with Cast Members from our #DreamsWithinReach series and learn what’s new in their Aspire journeys… 

Isabel Navarro, a Nail Technician at the Senses Spa at Walt Disney World Resort, enrolled in a one-year English course online through Rosetta Stone to advance her English language skills and further connect with her guests.

"I took a three-week vacation with my grandson and I was able to understand so much more of what he was saying to me. I'm so proud of my progress!" - Isabel Navarro, Senses Spa Nail Technician at Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Aspire Participant

Thomas McCue, a Food and Beverage cast member at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, always encouraged his family to pursue higher education, and it was a conversation with his granddaughter that inspired him to revisit his own college dream, nearly 50 years after graduating high school.

"In the beginning, I thought I just wanted to inspire my grandkids. But now, I also want to inspire other cast members. If I can, they can." - Thomas McCue, Food & Beverage Cast Member at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa and Disney Aspire Participant

Willy McKenna, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Attractions Lead discovered his educational goals are in a galaxy not-so-far away thanks to Disney Aspire. Inspired by his family, Willy has always dreamed of pursuing a higher education, and with this program has been able to pursue his Master’s in organizational leadership. 

"This Fall, I'll be taking my first concentration course, and in the next year and a half, I expect to have successfully graduated with my Master's Degree." - Willy McKenna, Attractions Lead Cast Member at Disneyland Resort and Disney Aspire Participant

Now, let’s join the Disney Aspire celebrations and hear from other program participants!

You can follow along @DisneyParksBlog on Instagram and Facebook, as we host a special celebration takeover today! Join the conversation using #DreamsWithinReach and #DisneyAspire and stay tuned for next month’s #DreamsWithinReach installment. 

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