Landmark 15th Year of Disney Dreamers Academy Program Awaits 2022 Class of Talented High School Students

The exclusive Walt Disney World Resort mentorship event that fosters the dreams of Black students and teens from underrepresented communities plans to return in March with reimagined programming and a new group of outstanding high school students

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 17, 2022) – Disney Dreamers Academy, an educational mentorship program created and hosted by Walt Disney World Resort, plans to return with a reimagined approach, March 3-6, marking its 15th year of broadening career awareness and creating exclusive opportunities for Black students and teens from underrepresented communities across America.

This year, the impactful program will introduce the Disney Dreamers to an array of new immersions designed to continue to foster the dreams of young leaders beyond imagination, including career-building workshops, networking sessions, mentorship connections and introductions to future professional opportunities at The Walt Disney Company and beyond.

For its 15th year, Disney Dreamers Academy is supporting students in even more ways. In a new initiative, Disney Dreamers Academy, in partnership with ESPN’s The Undefeated and GRAMMY-nominated rap artist Cordae, is awarding college scholarships to 11 students from underrepresented communities attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The Disney Dreamers program is an important part of Disney’s commitment to supporting diverse communities, such as Black America, by encouraging the next generation to think big and to carry what they learn back with them, so they can relentlessly pursue their dreams and make a difference in the lives of others.

“We are excited and honored to celebrate 15 years of Disney Dreamers Academy with this year’s class,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World Resort Vice President and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “We’ve embraced this opportunity to amplify the event, and we’re thrilled to introduce new experiences, new career programs and new mentors.”

Since 2008, Disney Dreamers Academy has inspired more than 1,300 students from across the country by fueling their dreams and showing them a world of possibilities as they prepare for their futures. In the years following, graduates have gone on to become doctors, nurses, engineers, pilots, journalists and more, and have transitioned into mentors to the Disney Dreamers who follow them, including event speaker Princeton Parker (Class of 2011), who is now a Disney cast member.

Each year the Disney Dreamers are selected from thousands of applicants who answer essay questions about their personal stories and dreams for the future. The students and a parent or guardian are given an all-expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida for the event.

These Disney Dreamers engage in a wide variety of experiences at Walt Disney World while working side-by-side with and hearing inspirational stories from community and business leaders, Disney cast members, celebrities and other special guests.

During the four-day event, the 100 students selected for the annual program participate in sessions teaching valuable life tools such as leadership skills, effective communication techniques and networking strategies.  They also experience in-depth career workshops in a variety of disciplines aligned with the students’ dreams. These workshops introduce the Disney Dreamers to diverse career paths within business, entertainment and sciences, including career opportunities within The Walt Disney Company.

Past celebrity participants have included stars from the big screen and television, noted sports figures, popular musicians as well as personalities and cast members from across the Disney family including “Good Morning America,’’ ESPN, Disney Channel and the TV series “black-ish” and “grown-ish.”

For more information, visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com. Regular updates about Disney Dreamers Academy are also available on social media at Facebook.com/DisneyDreamersAcademy, Twitter.com/DreamersAcademyand Instagram.com/disneydreamersacademy.

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The 100 students selected to participate in the 2022 Disney Dreamers Academy are (listed by state):

First Name Last Name City State
Nolan Hatcher Birmingham AL
Ava Cocke Fairhope AL
Mackenzie Hill Hazel Green AL
Jaynie Turner Helena AL
Tylor Anderson Mobile AL
Prisha Shroff Chandler AZ
Annalise Jones Mesa AZ
Alex Zhang Cupertino CA
Jamila Abdelkarim Fullerton CA
Katherine Lawler Livermore CA
Roi Clinton Manhattan Beach CA
Kevin Gonzalez Ramirez San Diego CA
Kayli Joy Cooper Studio City CA
Sophia Mitsuoka Centennial CO
Caleb Hatch Colorado Springs CO
McKenzie Williams Boca Raton FL
Christianna Alexander Jacksonville FL
Zachary Andrews Jacksonville FL
Khushi Talluru Lakewood Ranch FL
Isabella Puglisi Miami Shores FL
Roxie Richbourg Orlando FL
Javier Lageyre Weston FL
Ramon Abreu Windermere FL
Azriel Melvin Atlanta GA
Jordyn Spencer Atlanta GA
Nathanael Occilien-Similien Covington GA
MiCai Haywood Fairburn GA
Cedaisia Talton Fort Valley GA
Amia Georges Marietta GA
Ryann Richards Powder Springs GA
Ilarose Robinson Riverdale GA
Abigail Smith Statesboro GA
Kayla Nelson Frankfort IL
Reagan Sturgis Cambridge Cty IN
Alison Yee Leawood KS
Hrilina Rakhs Gretna LA
Elizabeth Garder Mandeville LA
Rose Warfield Grafton MA
Lance Carr Clarksburg MD
Kemery Oparah Clinton MD
Danielle Nelson Columbia MD
Kaiya Jones Ellicott City MD
Whitley Shields Fort Washington MD
CiaRa Sejour Ft Washington MD
Caleb Oh Gambrills MD
Amber Johnson Oxon Hill MD
Olivia Jones Silver Spring MD
Miyana holden Bloomfield Hills MI
Alexis Cornett Highland MI
Sean Shelbrock Montrose MI
Maxwell Parney Rochester MN
Michael Wren Florissant MO
Bryce Allen Charlotte NC
Journi Kirby Concord NC
Joshua Hanflink Greensboro NC
Britney Nyabaro Wake Forest NC
Maya Roseboro Wilmington NC
Justin Fountain Winston Salem NC
Diya Nair Avenel NJ
Denia Smith Belle Mead NJ
Darius Brown Newark NJ
Kendall Henderson Robbinsville NJ
Alexis Halm South Orange NJ
Abibat Akinyele Yusifu Bronx NY
Elsa Woodarek Ellicottville NY
Malaya Talavera Hicksville NY
Michael Taggart Jamaica NY
Justin Alvarez New York NY
Darcie Wu New York NY
Aaliyah Summons Port Jervis NY
Cyruss Bell Rochester NY
Naeema Baksh Rosedale NY
Sanaalee Troupe Uniondale NY
Annabel Long Bexley OH
Isabella Green Cleveland OH
Nolan Pastore Hartville OH
Meghana Boda Lewis Center OH
Skylar Blumenauer Massillon OH
Emma Jeffrey Yukon OK
Kyler Wang Portland OR
Bethany Washington Hanover PA
Zachary Sullivan Pittsburgh PA
Arianna Gaiter Pittsburgh PA
Victoria Ren Sewickley PA
Tyra Jefferson Columbia SC
Cadence Brown Williston SC
Samuel Draper Converse TX
Mason Thenor Cypress TX
Andre Scott Humble TX
Baani Sandhu Irving TX
Destiny Weeden Killeen TX
Maya Burns McKinney TX
Elizabeth Mielke Prosper TX
Marcus Drake Rockwall TX
Theodore Hervey San Antonio TX
Myles Bracey-Hairston Lorton VA
Audrey Zorrilla Midlothian VA
Kortney Bostic Shenandoah VA
Samantha Haywood Vienna VA
SImmi Sen Vancouver WA

 

About Disney Dreamers Academy:

Established by Walt Disney World in 2008, Disney Dreamers Academy’s mission is to inspire young leaders to dream beyond imagination by providing life-long access to personalized support for the Disney Dreamer, their caregivers and community through insightful content and uplifting experts, mentors and sponsors. Each year, 100 high school students are awarded a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida to experience the immersive and transformational program.