Disney Cruise Line Celebrates Disney Wish with new ‘Wishes Set Sail’ Initiative to Empower Local Youth

The cruise line kicked off its youth empowerment campaign by providing funding to Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida Brevard County Branches

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — In celebration of the Disney Wish’s inaugural season, Disney Cruise Line (DCL) announced that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida (BGCCF) is one of the first youth initiatives to receive funding as part of its all-new ‘Wishes Set Sail’ campaign.

Earmarked for BGCCF Brevard County Branches, DCL’s donation will support education and career development programs, with a special emphasis on the maritime and hospitality industries.

“Disney Cruise Line is excited to continue supporting our valued port communities and contributing to critical youth initiatives through this new program,” said Disney Cruise Line Senior Vice President & General Manager Sharon Siskie. “We’re proud of the 25-year relationship we have with Canaveral Port Authority and Brevard County and are dedicated to continuing our commitment to this area. Our hope is that this donation will empower local students and help their wishes set sail.”

Captain Minnie Mouse and Disney Ambassador Ali Manion visited the Cocoa Branch of the BGCCF to celebrate the launch of this campaign. Making her debut in 2019, Captain Minnie empowers girls and young women to pursue careers in the cruise industry and chart a course for success.

The Walt Disney Company has enjoyed a long-time partnership with the BGCCF, which aims to provide a safe place to learn and grow for more than 7,000 at-risk children throughout the region while enabling them to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

“We are truly thankful for our continued partnership with Disney Cruise Line, particularly as we look to create new initiatives that will spark our members’ interest in our programs,” said RaQuel Hinton, Senior Service Director for the organization’s Cocoa Branch. “The Wishes Set Sail support will open new doors for our members to explore careers in the maritime and hospitality industries, which many of them have yet to experience.”

In total, Disney Cruise Line will distribute $400,000 to local youth initiatives in DCL’s key port communities throughout the Disney Wish’s inaugural season. Wishes Set Sail adds to Disney Cruise Line’s initiatives that inspire youth to pursue maritime careers.

Other efforts include special programming in youth activity spaces onboard where young captain hopefuls, together with Captain Minnie, practice their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills in fun, maritime-themed challenges and games that test their problem-solving and nautical abilities. In 2019, Disney Cruise Line also introduced a scholarship program in partnership with the LJM Maritime Academy in Nassau for female cadets aspiring to become ship captains and shipboard leaders. The scholarships include tuition to the three-year program – two years of study at the academy and one year of service aboard a Disney ship.

For more information on Disney Cruise Line’s commitment to its port communities, visit DCLnews.com.

About Disney Cruise Line: Since its launch in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has established itself as a leader in the cruise industry, providing a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and children can experience all Disney has to offer. Today, Disney Cruise Line continues to expand its blueprint for family cruising with a fleet of five ships — the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wish — and two more ships planned in 2024 and 2025. Guests can sail out of ports around the world on exciting itineraries to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Alaska and Europe, among others. The homeport for Disney Cruise Line remains Port Canaveral, Florida, where it has its own specially designed terminal.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida: Since 1944, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida has provided at-risk children from the local community, between the ages of 6 and 18, with a safe place to learn and grow. Our membership totals more than 7,000 young people at 36 Clubs and middle school sites in Brevard, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Sumter Counties. The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.