Disney is all about dreamers and believers. For Katrina Baker, her dreams became reality while helping others realize theirs. As an entertainment manager at EPCOT, Katrina always had a passion to be a motivator and mentor to her cast and guests alike. It wasn’t until 2008 that Katrina realized she could extend that passion into something more.
Katrina heard about a program where cast members step away from their day-to-day roles for special events, go behind the scenes to host media and spread a little magic. More specifically, she learned about an event that gives students with dreams the tools it takes to let their potential shine through: Disney Dreamers Academy.
Disney Dreamers Academy (DDA) is a 4-day, fully immersive event for select high-school students between the ages of 13-19 who get to interact with Disney cast members, celebrities, industry experts and community leaders through inspirational talks, career activities, networking and interviewing experience; all designed to motivate young students to dream big.
Katrina’s been a Disney Representative (Rep) at DDA from the very first year and is now a team leader helping oversee the operation, letting the event be her own sort of pixie dust. “[even] Though this event is for our Disney Dreamers, as a Disney Rep and team leader, I learned so much from it, too,” said Katrina.
While guiding and teaching students to believe in themselves, DDA helped Katrina realize a dream of her own: to open a non-profit dance studio in her community. “DDA opened those windows and ideas of possibilities for me, but most importantly, it helped me believe in myself and not be afraid to go for it!”
15 years later and she’s still going strong. After seeing many Disney Dreamers graduate from the program, Katrina’s favorite parts are seeing how much the students grow and how lucky she is to represent the company. “Having the opportunity to watch that child transform into someone who sees their potential and dreams coming true is emotional,” expressed Katrina. “They realize they have changed and can really go make an impact on the world.”
Katrina stays connected with her Disney Dreamers throughout the years, acting as their mentor and someone they can talk to even after the event ends. She recalled how she saw each student transform with confidence and the skillset to obtain their dream. “Making your dream come true is living a life of true happiness,” said Katrina. “It makes the world a better place when people are living their dreams.”
Continue living your dream, Katrina! And thank you to all our Disney Reps who have been champions in representing the company and champions for Disney Dreamers since 2008.