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Disney-Style Salute Planned for Fifth-Year Anniversary as 100 Students are Selected for Disney's Dreamers Academy - 'Dreaming Big' Mantra Comes Alive March 8-11, 2012 as 100 Students Get Fresh Perspective, Jump Start on Career Paths and Life -

 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 27, 2012  /PRNewswire/ -- Walt Disney World Resort today announced the list of 100 high school students from across the U.S. who have been selected to attend the 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. 

Often described as the world's most creative classroom, the four-day power-packed program hosted by Disney and renowned entertainer Steve Harvey will be held March 8-11, 2012 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.  Disney's Dreamers Academy inspires and fuels the dreams of selected students to help them dream bigger, discover a world of possibilities and get a jump start on making those dreams come true.

Now entering its fifth year, more than 500 high school students will have participated since Disney's Dreamers Academy opened its doors in 2008.

A celebrity panel of judges led by comedian, author, philanthropist and Disney's Dreamers Academy Ambassador Steve Harvey reviewed more than 4,700 applications and selected the 100 students for the Class of 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy. Judging criteria included exhibiting curiosity, compassion and leadership skills. 

During the 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy, students will engage in multiple activities, including interacting with a range of industry professionals and experience immersive introductions to various career paths. Disney's Dreamers Academy students participate in workshops on a variety of subjects, including entertainment, entrepreneurship, the medical field, culinary arts and creative inspiration from Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative gurus behind Disney's theme parks and attractions.

"We are thrilled to announce this new class of 100 unique Dreamers who will graduate from the Academy with a whole new perspective on their future," said Tracey Walters-Powell, executive champion of the program for Disney Parks & Resorts. "We received more applications this year than any other and we have selected an amazing class for this historic fifth year anniversary of the Dreamers Academy."

"I've been with Dreamers Academy from day one and each year the program gets stronger as we add new interactive and experiential components for these students, so to hit the five-year mark is quite an accomplishment," said Steve Harvey, who has served as Ambassador of Disney's Dreamers Academy since the program started. "Investing and re-investing in these kids each year, you can really see the pay off as they leave the Academy and start to look at their future in a much different and much brighter light."

Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks said, "I am not going to divulge any secrets as to what's being planned for this important fifth anniversary, but if you know anything about Walt Disney World, you know this life-changing event is going to be a truly amazing spectacular for these students and we are proud to be a part of it."

Proving that Disney's Dreamers Academy graduates emerge with a new perspective on life and their career paths, two recent graduates from the Class of 2011 Disney's Dreamers Academy -- Diamond Sims of Miami and Princeton Parker of Los Angeles -- were invited to share their stories on the popular blog Huffington Post.

"Disney's Dreamers Academy was a part of my life that I will never ever forget," said Sims, who is now a freshman at University of Florida. " I met people who are from the same place as I am. I met people from all types of professions who were willing to provide advice, guidance and encouragement. In only a few days, they helped mold me into the young woman that I am today."

Parker,17, who just started his first year of communications studies at the University of Southern California, said: "Disney's Dreamers Academy changed my life not only by enlarging my dreams and understanding, but also by introducing me to more than 100 other young visionaries who possess the same drive, tenacity, vigor and capacity to dream."

Speakers Resource Group Added to Enhance Dreamers Academy

To increase the depth of experiences shared at Disney's Dreamers Academy, a formal speakers resource group has been formed that includes accomplished professionals who serve as program ambassadors and who share common goals: inspiring youth to believe in their dreams and giving them tools to jumpstart their dreams into reality. The Disney's Dreamers Academy Speakers Resource Group champions students in a variety of ways, including participating in the panel of judges who selected the 100 students to attending the flagship event at Walt Disney World Resort to offering insights about the four-day event curriculum. They also collaborate with Disney in extending Disney's Dreamers Academy program content into relevant community, educational and entertainment platforms.

The 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy Speakers Resource Group will include: Mikki Taylor (Editor-at-Large, ESSENCE Magazine); Yolanda Adams (gospel music legend); Terrence J (BET host of 106 and Park); Stephen A. Smith (broadcaster and sports analyst); Dr. Steve Perry (education advocate and CNN commentator); Sonia Jackson-Myles (founder and author, The Sister Accord); Jonathan Sprinkles (award-winning motivational speaker); and Brandi Harvey (Corporate and Community Relations Director, the Steve Harvey World Group) and Karli Harvey (Hair Artesian, U Salon, Atlanta).

For additional information and updates on the program please visit www.disneysdreamersacademy.com or www.facebook.com/disneysdreamersacademy.   You can also follow on Twitter @dreamersacademy.            .

The following students have been selected to participate in the 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine:

*Participation is subject to verification and return of the required documentation.

 

First Name

Last Name

City

State

Michael

Holloway

Daleville

AL

Jabri

Dunson

Hoover

AL

LaTracyenne

Kennie-Miller

Marion

AL

Xavier

Packer

Mobile

AL

Qynette

Howell

Los Angeles

CA

Breianna

Scott

Newark

CA

Michael

Ebenkamp

North Hills

CA

Sumari

Barnes

Oakland

CA

Jose

Favela, Jr.

Palmdale

CA

Darrius

Lee

San Jacinto

CA

Heaven

Roberts

Aurora

CO

Kimberly

Moreno

Washington

DC

Aliyah

Hodge

New Castle

DE

Dorian

Sullivan

Jacksonville

FL

Charles

Kerby

Lehigh Acres

FL

Charles

Bigby

Parrish

FL

Tyra

Winn

Alpharetta

GA

Travis

Jackson

Atlanta

GA

Ceshawne

Matthews

Atlanta

GA

Nydia

Stanley

Atlanta

GA

Andre

White

Atlanta

GA

Daryl

Littles

Hephzibah

GA

Kiara

Wilson

Kingsland

GA

Isaiah

Jones

Lawrenceville

GA

Bryan

Willis

Lawrenceville

GA

Caleb

Logan

Lithonia

GA

Jhada

Williams

Lithonia

GA

Eric

Branch II

Mableton

GA

Jeremy

Johnson

Marietta

GA

Marlicia

Roscoe

Marietta

GA

Kaliyah

Jones

Morrow

GA

Michelle

Davis

Powder Springs

GA

Gregory

Smith  Jr.

Rex

GA

Alexis

Warren

Rex

GA

T'Yanna

Williams

Stockbridge

GA

Isis

Davis

Chicago

IL

Casey

Foley

Crystal Lake

IL

Janelle

Wasson

Avilla

IN

Holland

Colvin

Bloomington

IN

Taylor

Carter

Merrillville

IN

Eddie

Hawkins

Baltimore

MD

Sada

Mccoy

Baltimore

MD

Markia

Pryor

Baltimore

MD

Wesley

Berry

Bowie

MD

Mosina

Jordan-Hawkins

Bowie

MD

Miles

Powell

Bowie

MD

Alban

George

Columbia

MD

Kaya

Bruce

Indian Head

MD

India

Said

Laurel

MD

Jakirah

Jacobs

Reisterstown

MD

Devontae

Clark

White Plains

MD

Roseshonda

Fludd

Detroit

MI

Jakala

Goode

Detroit

MI

Leon

Peterson

Detroit

MI

Shala

Safford

Detroit

MI

Imani

Word

Kalamazoo

MI

Kaitlyn

Dedeaux

Pass Christain

MS

Savannah

Barnwell

Charlotte

NC

Kevin

Fontenot

Charlotte

NC

Jerri

Gaddie

Charlotte

NC

Janae'

Carroll

Clayton

NC

Constance

Anderson

Greenville

NC

Jessica

Nagbe

Knightdale

NC

D'Allo

Crowder

Marshville

NC

Dahmeriah

Morris

Asbury Park

NJ

Kendra

Sullivan

Eatontown

NJ

Devin-Curtis

Wilson

Edison

NJ

Amanda

Sar

Orange

NJ

Imani

McClendon

Union

NJ

Cathleen

Daly

Rio Rancho

NM

Deborah

Hamberg

Bronx

NY

Chima

Agwu

Brooklyn

NY

Julian

Canery

Brooklyn

NY

Zahra

Abd ' Allah

Jamaica

NY

Jacqueline

Ferro

Nanuet

NY

Nicholas

Harris

New York

NY

Alexis

Jackson

Oklahoma City

OK

Jasmine

Jackson

Philadelphia

PA

Marcedes

Smith

Marion

SC

Chelsea

Jacobs

Rock Hill

SC

Jazlyn

Hooks

Summerville

SC

KeAndre

Davis

Cordova

TN

Kenneth

Pendleton

Memphis

TN

Robert

Kincy

Fresno

TX

Rebekkah

Sheridan

Georgetown

TX

Robert

Jackson

Houston

TX

Marcus

McCarty

Houston

TX

Maya

White

Houston

TX

Jasmine

Jefferson

Richardson

TX

Caitlyn

Chapman

Simms

TX

La'Shay

Morris

Spring

TX

Stephen

Worrell

The Colony

TX

Brandon

Frederick

Wylie

TX

Daniel

Ghebremedhin

Alexandria

VA

Deja

Nell

Haymarket

VA

Connay

Bratton

Newport News

VA

Howard

Alston, Jr.

Norfolk

VA

Armecia

Rowe

Norfolk

VA

Canaan

Greenhill

Richmond

VA


About Steve Harvey:  Steve Harvey first performed stand-up comedy in the mid-1980s, which eventually led to a long stint as host of "It's Showtime at the Apollo." His success as a stand-up comedian led to multiple TV sitcoms, including: "Me and The Boys", "The Steve Harvey Show" and "Steve Harvey's Big Time Challenge."  His first book, "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man" quickly became a bestseller in 2009 has been made into a motion picture which will be in theatres nationwide in April of 2012. Harvey has appeared on "The Oprah Show," "Nightline," "Good Morning America" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Currently, Harvey hosts the nationally syndicated radio show "Steve Harvey Morning Show" which airs in over 60 markets and has more than 7 million listeners.  He is also the current host of the television game show Family Feud.   

About Essence Communications Inc.:  Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online. The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 41 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women's lives.

About Walt Disney World Resort / The Walt Disney Co.:  Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation center located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando.  The Walt Disney Co. has a rich legacy of creativity and exceptional storytelling that brings families together in unique and memorable ways. Creative excellence is coupled with a strong commitment to community service and diversity. The Walt Disney Co. is dedicated to making a positive impact in communities around the world, with a primary focus on brightening the lives of children.

SOURCE Walt Disney World Resort



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