Disney Aspire offers a wide variety of programs at more than 10 in-network schools, including high school diplomas, certificates, undergraduate degrees and master’s degrees. Eligible hourly employees and cast members have the opportunity to pursue their education goals and put their career dreams within reach. Taking advantage of such programs are recent graduates at Walt Disney World Resort—hear what they have to say about the program and how it has helped them advance in their career to make their dreams become reality.
What made you want to join Disney Aspire?
Demeatrice: I wanted to apply for Disney Aspire because it was free education and I wanted to advance my career through Disney and stay on with Disney after I finish my Aspire education.
Mitch: I’ve always wanted to continue my education post-graduate. I got my Bachelor’s in Biology, but I knew there was another side of what I like to do that I could potentially pursue with further education. Disney Aspire really provided me the opportunity to do just that.
Who would you say was your main support system to keep you encouraged during your studies?
Demeatrice: My main support system was my Disney mentor who was already in network engineering. He had been doing that for about three years before advancing to cybersecurity. That’s the same path I want to take and he’s mentoring me on what types of tests to take and helping me study. My mentor has been a real help throughout this journey.
Seth: My daughter. I mainly joined the program to show her, when she grows up, that it’s good to always have a goal and try your hardest to complete the goals you set out for yourself.
Are there any personal achievements during your Aspire tenure that stand out to you?
Mitch: My biggest achievement during Disney Aspire came when I realized when I was working a full-time job, maintaining a work-life balance, and doing my Master’s program only to complete it with flying colors. It didn’t feel like I was extra stressed; the way that Disney Aspire helps with education really helped take the stress off my shoulders.
Seth: Right at the end of the Bachelor’s program, I actually sat for my A Plus and Network Plus technical support certifications. This program has given me the confidence to take these certifications and gave me the assurance that I could have done this years ago.
How did it feel to graduate from your program?
Demeatrice: It feels awesome to have earned a degree. I’m still hungry to finish my technical certificate and advance my career, but my Bachelor’s degree has helped me stay motivated to continue searching for what I’m looking for in my career.
Seth: I would say it feels like a weight has been lifted, but I immediately applied to complete my Master’s in Cybersecurity through Disney Aspire. Graduating has been a milestone, and I already have put another milestone in front of me to accomplish.
Why are you proud to be a Disney Aspire graduate?
Demeatrice: I’m proud to be a Disney Aspire graduate because it’s a great opportunity to advance my career and also have Disney help support where I want to go.
Seth: Now I can show my daughter that I was able to accomplish this, and that she can accomplish anything she puts her heart to. Whether she wants to go to school or pursue something else, she can have that drive and complete what she wants to do.
Mitch: I’m proud to work for a company that likes to dedicate so many resources towards the development of their employees, allowing them to follow their dreams that they may not have pursued otherwise. I’m standing here as a graduate of Disney Aspire with my Master’s and I wouldn’t have pursued this if it weren’t for this program. That alone is enough for me to be proud of this program and everything that is being put towards it.