ORLANDO, Fla. — Walt Disney World was built on the idea that dreams can come true, and for the last 15 years, they’ve spread that idea through the Disney Dreamers Academy.
The program selects 100 students from under-represented neighborhoods around the country each year to attend a four-day workshop, learning from celebrities and professionalss in a variety of different fields.
“We want to be able to make sure that we’re giving them all the tools they need to be able to make those dreams a reality,” Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey Powell said.
Grace Allen is a Lake Highland Prep graduate who is now pursuing her own dreams after participating in the academy in 2019.
“DDA really kind of let me hone in on what it is I wanted to do,” Allen said. “Which ended up being medicine, and has allowed me to sort of be really confident in the fact that that is what I’m built to do.”
Allen is now studying global health research at Harvard, planning to become an OBGYN focusing on prenatal care in underdeveloped countries. She says the relationships started at Disney are helping her along that path.
“It ended up having so many benefits to me, it completely changed my mindset in the way that I now look at my career path, and I just have found it an invaluable experience,” Allen said.
Powell says they receive thousands of applications for the program each year.
The 2022 class was just announced Monday and includes two students from Central Florida.
“It is intended to be able to do one thing and one thing only,” Powell said. “And that is to really create opportunity and space for young people to dream, and dream really big…dream bigger than they ever have before.”
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