Each year 100 students are selected for Disney Dreamers from thousands of applicants. This year, there were 9 students selected to represent the state of Georgia.
With interest ranging from media to chemical engineering, these scholars were shown the benefits of going above and beyond throughout their time in Orlando.
Tracey Powell, Vice President of Pricing & Revenue Management of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Disney Dreamers Executive Champion said she was very excited to see what the kids took away from this opportunity.
“This is a once in a lifetime experience and I really want them to be able to experience that,” Powell said.
The Dreamers participated in a series of workshops to help develop their career interest. They heard from a variety of panelists who are successful in their different fields including: Gospel Artist Kierra Sheard, National Spelling Bee Champion Zaila Avant-Gard, and Founder of the Back at Zero Foundation, Branden Thompson.
Kierra Sheard was very passionate about encouraging the dreamers to move forward despite the obstacles. Bouncing off of one of her songs “Something Has To Break”, the artist explained that bad times do not last forever and that is what she wanted the students to understand.
“If you are a dreamer, you have to walk in the authority in just knowing what you can command, declare, and what you can take control of,” Sheard said.
Sheard referenced the Academy Award-Winning Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture, The Black Panther when speaking with The Atlanta Voice encouraging the Dreamers to show the world the true version of themselves.
“When Angela Bassett yelled at T’Challa ‘show them who you are!’, so you may be in a fight…but remember who you are,” she exclaimed.
The Disney Dreamers Academy is known for providing exclusive opportunities to Black Students in underrepresented parts of the country.
Branden Thompson, a Prairie View A&M alumnus spoke to the Dreamers about the importance of their own voice.
“It is about diversity and inclusion,” Thompson said. “Everybody has value, a story, gifts and talents so it is just about connecting those dots and letting people’s voices be heard because everybody can inspire somebody.”
Meet the Dreamers
Amia Georges from Atlanta
Interest: STEM and Theatre
“This program has been so helpful and shown me how many options that there are for me and my talents.”
how many options that there are for me and my talents.”
MiCai Haywood from Fairburn
Interest: Music and Production
“It is just amazing opportunities to network in what ever career you want to do.There are people here that can help you.”
Azriel Melvin from Atlanta
Interest: Math, Accounting and Spanish
“You build connections, different friendships, and have different workshops. Honestly, I think it is a very eye-opening experience you can have.”
Nathanael Occilien – Similien from Covington
Interest: Entrepreneurship and Business
“I highly recommend applying for Disney Dreamers Academy. There are life-long connections that you will never forget. There are scholarship and networking opportunities.These are things you will never forget.”
Ryann Richards Young from Powder Springs
Interest: Entrepreneurship and Real Estate
“I am student-athlete and serial entrepreneur. I am loving the Disney Dreamer’s Experience and getting to network with professionals in my field.”
Ila-Rose Robinson from Riverdale
Interest: Media, Specifically where she can engage in difficult conversations
“I have learned so much and made so many amazing connections with my peers. I consider them my family. I have learned how to use my voice. I really want to make sure that I create change within me and be a change agent whether I am in Atlanta or Orlando.”
Abigail Smith from Statesboro
Interest: Theatre, STEM and Service
“I loved this experience and cannot wait to see what comes next. I would highly recommend this for other people.”
Jordyn Spencer from Atlanta
Interest: Film and Television
“I loved this experience and absolutely loved my time here.”
Cedaisia Talton from Fort Valley
Interest: HealthCare and Dance
“I enjoyed my experience so far and would recommend it to people at my school.”