Florida Students Among Outstanding Group of 100 Teens Selected from Thousands to Take Part in 2019 Disney Dreamers Academy 

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High school students will receive all-expenses-paid trip to Disney to participate in coveted mentoring event in March with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine

Walt Disney World Resort has revealed the 100 extraordinary youths from across the nation who will participate in the 2019 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. Each student receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World to participate in an immersive, transformational four-day experience that will take place March 21-24.

The program, now in its 12th year, is an important part of Disney’s commitment to helping the next generation of young people by inspiring them at a critical time in their development. The Disney Dreamers Academy theme is “Be100,” encouraging teens to be positive, to be “all in” 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.

“These students are in for a life-changing experience,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World Resort vice president and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “Our goal is to help them see the unlimited possibilities and to inspire them to achieve their full purpose – to become the heroes of their own stories.”

Participating students, known as “Disney Dreamers,” embark on a journey that takes them throughout the Disney theme parks and behind the scenes of this 40-square-mile vacation destination. Walt Disney World becomes a vibrant classroom where students discover new career opportunities, pursue their dreams and interact with Harvey and other celebrities and motivational speakers. Celebrities who have participated in the past include singers Patti LaBelle and Ne-Yo, NBA legend and business mogul Magic Johnson, gospel music star Yolanda Adams, actor Jussie Smollett, plus TV personalities such as celebrity chef Carla Hall and “Good Morning America’’ co-anchor Michael Strahan.

Additionally, students participate in immersive career-oriented workshops that range from animation to zoology. Each student is also given important life tools such as effective communication techniques, leadership skills and networking strategies.

 “Having a dream is one of the most important things in life.  My success is a direct result of dreaming big,” said Harvey. “It is my passion to help others dream bigger and to give them the tools to achieve those dreams.  That is why I enjoy partnering with Disney on this program every year.”

 Since 2008, Walt Disney World Resort has provided all-expenses-paid trips to more than 1,100 students, plus a parent or guardian, to participate in the annual Disney Dreamers Academy. Students are selected from thousands of applicants who answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories and dreams for the future.

 “We have a remarkable group of students attending this year,” said Michelle Ebanks, Chief Executive Officer of Essence Communications Inc. “At ESSENCE, we embrace the mission of inspiring the next generation of leaders, and we’re looking forward to partnering with Disney once again to cultivate greatness in the 2019 class.”

Shown are Disney Dreamers from Middleburg, Florida: Bransyl Boston, 17 and Jacksonville, Florida: Marlon Griggs, 14,

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

 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:

Harvey is an author, actor, producer and comedian. Currently, he is the host of the nationally syndicated radio program, “Steve Harvey Morning Show” as well as host and executive producer of multiple television shows including “Funderdome,” “Family Feud,” and “Steve.”

About ESSENCE Communications Inc.:

ESSENCE Communications Inc. (ECI) is the #1 media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events and online. The company’s flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the ESSENCE Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series,ESSENCE.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 45 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of 14.1 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women’s lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at www.essence.com.

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