Deadline Nears for Nominations for the 2011 Disney's Dreamers Academy Teen-Event

Nomination Submissions Due Oct. 31, 2010

Oct 15, 2010, 17:13 ET from Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- There are only a few weeks left to submit nominations for the 2011 Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. High school students ages 13-19 who are legal residents of the contiguous 48 United States must submit their nominations at by October 31, 2010.

The nationwide search is on for students who want to ignite their lives, dreams and passions. Disney's Dreamers Academy is known for motivating, empowering and inspiring young adults to live life to its fullest potential. This year Essence Communications joins with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey to help take Dreamers to the next level.

"Each year we strive to find young people who may have a will or passion, but may not have the courage to explore their dreams," said Harvey. "So we hope to unlock the power that will allow them to pursue their hearts' desires."

Developed in 2007 by Disney Parks, Disney's Dreamers Academy continues to inspire teens to dream big and pursue their passion. Motivational speakers, Disney experts and celebrities participate in the program every year to share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success. The program brings together high school students from all walks of life and from across the country for interactive workshops and seminars, showing kids a world of possibilities.  During hands-on experiences, participants explore a world of career options – from animation, through entrepreneurship, to zoology.

Tracey Walters-Powell, executive champion of the program for Disney Parks & Resorts, said, "Disney's Dreamers Academy is a perfect platform to further the goal, shared by Disney Parks, Essence Communications and – it goes without saying – by Steve Harvey, to inspire children. We are genuinely excited about the possibilities ahead."

Angela Burt-Murray, editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine, added, "Essence is closely aligned with Disney and Steve Harvey in supporting the mission of Disney's Dreamers Academy and its commitment to positively impacting our youth. Disney's Dreamers Academy is helping teens take steps in the right direction, and we want to be right there with the students, both encouraging them and sharing their stories."

Every fall thousands of teens are nominated by their relatives, friends, teachers, mentors and themselves. Each year, only 100 Dreamers are selected by a distinguished panel of leaders from the communications, education and entertainment industries. The lucky winners receive an all-expense paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort for several days during which they learn how to "dream big," form lifelong friendships with like-minded individuals from across the nation and indulge in all of Disney's magical theme parks. Disney, Essence Communications and Steve Harvey will increase their efforts to help teens get started on their professional journey. Dreamers will learn interview skills and techniques and the importance of networking.

The 2011 Disney's Dreamers Academy will take place March 3-6, 2011, at Walt Disney World Resort, near Orlando in central Florida. For more information and to apply for the 2011 program, please visit no later than Oct. 31, 2010.

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,, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD).

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