The Class of 2017 Disney Dreamers Academy is Now Accepting Applicants

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Disney Dreamers join (behind Mickey Mouse L-R) Mikki Taylor, editor-at-large for Essence Magazine, Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications, Inc., radio and TV personality Steve Harvey, Tracey D. Powell, executive champion of Disney Dreamers Academy, and Mickey Mouse on March 6, 2016 to celebrate the commencement of the ninth Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The annual event is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Gregg Newton, photographer)

The 2017 Disney Dreamers Academy is now accepting applications from high school students ages 13 to 19 nationwide. Only 100 students will be selected to participate in the innovative, outside-the-classroom, mentoring program held at Walt Disney World Resort in March 2017. The class of 2017 will mark the program’s 10th anniversary.

Steve Harvey, syndicated radio and television personality, along with ESSENCE and Walt Disney World Resort will host selected Dreamers during a four-day power-packed career and educational exploration in March 2017. “Giving back is important to me, and especially to our youth – our future leaders, entrepreneurs, and aspiring artists.” said Harvey. “We’ve seen more than 900 committed students come through the program, and I’m excited to find the next 100. The tenth anniversary will be special, and I encourage all high school students to take a minute of their time to apply for this incredible opportunity.”

For nearly a decade, Disney Dreamers Academy has helped to inspire young minds from across the country by fueling their dreams and showing them a world of possibilities as they prepare for the future. Each year, students participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a variety of career paths, ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills, such as communication techniques, leadership values, and networking strategies.

The event takes place in the very magical and creative setting of Walt Disney World Resort. Dreamers are taken both on stage and behind the scenes, where Disney theme parks become vibrant ‘classrooms,’ leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

“We’re excited to welcome back Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE for the tenth year,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts vice president of deluxe resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “This program is unique for the opportunity it affords teens to be inspired and motivated to accomplish their goals. By applying for Disney Dreamers Academy, high school students from across the country are taking an important step forward that can influence and change their lives forever.”

Disney Dreamers are exposed to celebrity motivational speakers and special guests who share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and DREAM BIG. Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives.

ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, “ESSENCE has been honored to help identify the next generation of big dreamers and welcome them to Walt Disney World Resort for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This tenth year will be no exception, and we’re delighted to further play a role in setting our future leaders on the path to success.”

Applicants to the Disney Dreamers Academy program must answer essay questions about their personal stories and their dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a combination of attributes, including strong character, positive attitude and determination to achieve their dreams.

Select Disney Dreamers, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where they will participate in life-changing sessions and be surrounded by the creativity and innovation represented in Disney theme parks around the world. Disney Dreamers Academy will take place March 2017.

Applications are open to U.S. high school students, ages 13 to 19, through Oct. 31, 2016. A distinguished panel of leaders will judge the applications, and winners will be announced towards the end of 2016.

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Photo Credit: Disney

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