Some would say that the Walt Disney Company is in the dream fulfillment business seeing as how dreams come true every day around the world at Disney Parks. With the recently launched, groundbreaking Disney Aspire education program, dreams are now within reach for Disney Cast Members. The Disney Aspire education program is a 100% tuition paid education program for U.S. based part-time or full-time hourly cast members. Hundreds of cast members have participated in this program and are working towards reaching their higher education goals.
The very first Disney Aspire graduate, Anthony Payne, is being featured in a new “Dreams Within Reach” series that spotlights participants of the program. Anthony, a custodial cast member at the Walt Disney World resort, just completed his HVAC technician course work at Penn Foster. This father of 3 works nights at Epcot, making sure the park is ready each morning for guests when they arrive. He is now one step closer to achieving his dream of working for Disney Cruise Line. This achievement was celebrated with a surprise visit from Mickey Mouse himself! Anthony says his biggest motivation to fulfill this dream was his wife and three children. “They have always been my biggest motivation,” he says. “I’ve wanted to go back to school for about 15 years now, and I haven’t heard of too many companies offering something as generous as this.”
“I really feel like Disney is investing in our futures, and they’re helping us to grow and follow our dreams. I can’t wait to use my skills, and advance as far as I can here.”
Disney Aspire launched in 2018 to assist 85,000 hourly cast members in pursuing their dreams by providing them with access to educational programs, coaching, and the job skills needed to reach their goals. This $150 million dollar program gives cast members the opportunity to pursue their dreams, whatever they may be, by enrolling in online courses across a network of schools, with Disney covering the cost of tuition and books.
Whether technical skills or a bachelor degree is needed to pursue the dream, Disney is there every step of the way from application to graduation. Disney Aspire is a continuation of the Walt Disney Company’s commitment to supporting the dreams and goals of their cast members. To learn more about the program or to apply, visit aspire.disney.com.
“First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, Dare” -Walt Disney
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