LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Disney Dreamers Academy (DDA) was designed to give students the tools to take their dreams to a new level. With 100 students in attendance, this 4-day event allows students to interact with Disney cast members, industry experts, and celebrities.
Tracey Powell, Vice President of Pricing & Revenue Management of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Disney Dreamers Executive Champion has a unique bond with each class.
“Knowing that we have the opportunity to change lives is something that I would do everyday,” Powell exclaimed.
DDA stated in a press release that new initiatives were coming to light in this year’s program.
“For its 15th year, Disney Dreamers Academy is supporting students in even more ways. In a new initiative, Disney Dreamers Academy, in partnership with ESPN’s The Undefeated and GRAMMY-nominated rap artist Cordae, is awarding college scholarships to 11 students from underrepresented communities attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
DDA also stated that the students selected for the program will participate in sessions teaching valuable life tools through workshops such as leadership skills, effective communication techniques and networking strategies.
Asked the question, if given the opportunity to speak to her younger self, Powell encourages Disney Dreamers and dreamers alike to live in the moment. “Understand that any of the challenges or obstacles that I thought were present.. is just in my mind.”
The Executive Champion has been a part of the program since 2009, but in the Disney family for decades. Powell was also highlighted in Women Worth Watching, ESSENCE and much more.
Grammy-Award Winning Artist Kelly Rowland encourages students in DDA to keep pushing. Born in Atlanta, the Former Destiny’s Child member spoke with the Atlanta Voice about the importance of a support system when climbing to the top.
“We (Destiny’s Child) were like, this is just one knock down. You know what I mean? We’ll probably see other knockdowns, but it’s how we get back up. It was how we got back up and we became one of the best female groups in the world. So, it’s all about your support system and your belief in yourself,” Rowland said.
Rowland also spoke on times when her dreams were deferred and how she can impact the students because of her experiences.
“We can never forget that we have dreams, other people have dreams too. When they see us dream and we fulfill our dreams. They’re like “Oh my God, that’s my dream.“”
It has been 15 years since the program began in 2008 and the program has inspired over 1,400 students from across the country by giving them the opportunity to reach their greatest potential.
“Our kids get to be seen everywhere. Our culture is seen. The Dreamer’s Academy is just the icing on the cake because we get to watch these incredible kids, see and listen to their dreams and be a part of their journey. Hopefully, we can hold them on our shoulders as their dreaming,” Rowland said.