LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Steve Harvey, Essence magazine and a star-studded line-up of VIP entertainment and sports figures, motivational speakers and world-class business professionals join Disney to host a power-packed weekend of special events and educational workshops at the 2011 Disney's Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando March 3-6.
More than 100 high school students from across the country, selected by a blue-ribbon panel from among nearly 4,000 applicants, are participating.
Launched in 2007, Disney's Dreamers Academy inspires youth to dream big and motivates them to get started on their career paths now. Dreamers participate in "immersive" workshops which allow them to take the plunge into real-world career scenarios and learn from top leaders and stars about a myriad of professional fields. The Academy's curriculum includes more than 20 personalized and interactive workshops such as:
- Sports Careers/Broadcasting: Dreamers will spend time with very special guests from ESPN: The Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios including Superstar athletes Chad Ochocinco, Cal Ripken Jr. and Alonzo Mourning.
- Marine Biology: Dreamers dive deep into the world of marine life at Disney's 5.7 million gallon aquarium, The Seas with Nemo and Friends attraction, unveiling the beauty of life under the sea and how to care for it.
- Entertainment: Dreamers experience the audition process for American Idol as Ruben Studdard and Kimberley Locke take them inside the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
- Language/International Studies: Dreamers meet with representatives from the Walt Disney World International Studies program, as well as students from other countries working in the international pavilions at Epcot.
Award-winning Gospel music icon Yolanda Adams opens the weekend of events, and Disney sensation and TV star Raven Symone will provide the keynote speech. Symone, already a famous actress and singer at 25, started her career on The Cosby Show and went on to land her own popular Disney sitcom, That's So Raven. She has been featured in several major motion pictures and has written, produced and performed music listed on the Billboard 200 list. The young multi-million dollar mogul continues to grow her empire outside of the entertainment industry as she also runs her own clothing and perfume lines.
Other celebrity guests include BET's "106 and Park" host Terrence J, Disney Channel's "Camp Rock" star Roshon Fegan, actors Chris Massey and Tamera Mowry.
Tracey D. Powell, executive champion of the program for Disney Parks & Resorts, said, "Disney's Dreamers Academy provides a platform to propel dreams. Disney Parks, Essence Communications and Steve Harvey all share the same vision, to inspire and motivate youth."
"The children are our future and they all deserve an equal opportunity to achieve their dreams," said Steve Harvey. "Disney's Dreamers Academy unlocks the power that allows people to pursue their hearts desires," Harvey added.
Coca-Cola is an official sponsor of the 2011 Disney's Dreamers Academy, sharing its "Open Happiness" program with student attendees. The brand will also host several unique networking events for Dreamers over the course of the weekend.
"Disney's Dreamers Academy ignites dreams and lives and we are happy to share in this moment," said Michelle Ebanks, editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine.
For more information, visit http://www.disneysdreamersacademy.com, facebook.com/disneysdreamersacademy or follow us on Twitter via @dreamersacademy.
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.
About Steve Harvey:
Steve Harvey began doing 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. Harvey has appeared on "The Oprah Show," "Nightline," "Good Morning America" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Currently, Harvey hosts the nationally syndicated "Steve Harvey Morning Show" which airs in over 60 markets and has over 7 million listeners.
About Essence Communications Inc.:
Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is "Where Black Women Come First". 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, Window on Our Women (WOW I & II) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD).
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero®, vitaminwater®, Powerade®, Minute Maid®, Simply® and Georgia with an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, Coca-Cola is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where they operate.
SOURCE Walt Disney World Resort