Disney Dreamers Academy alumni making a difference during the pandemic

Each year, 100 high school students from across the country are chosen to come to Walt Disney World to participate in Disney Dreamers Academy. In these challenging times, Disney Dreamers are doing their part to help.

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Two of those making a difference are Ashlyn Pinkins of Gretna, La. and Kaylin Garnett of Augusta, Ga.

Disney Dreamers Academy Alumni Make a Difference During Pandemic

Tracking the Virus

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Pinkins attended the Disney Dreamers Academy in 2011 with a love for science, and now is a public health epidemiologist for her home state of Louisiana. She has the important job of documenting and tracking cases of the virus using information gathered from hospitals and other medical organizations.

“It’s just been so informative and inspirational to see how much people push forward and how much work they actually do,” said Pinkins. “To get a firsthand account of the work people are doing in the background is just amazing.”

Pinkins shared with the Disney Parks Blog that her time with Disney Dreamers Academy showed her that “no dream is out of reach as long as you keep working hard.”

Caring for the Sick

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A 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy alumna, Garnett continued to chase her dreams by earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing, while also working as a certified nursing assistant and unit manager at a local nursing home.

She was assigned to care for and manage administrative duties specifically for COVID-19-positive patients, and it was there that she experienced firsthand the difference and impact that healthcare professionals make.

“This experience has confirmed that being on the frontlines to help others is what I want to do in life,” said Garnett.

Garnett’s desire to help others has also inspired her to pursue the goal of becoming an emergency medical technicial (EMT), and recently passed the exam while still working. She credits the Disney Dreamers Academy for teaching her the value of teamwork and inspiring her to never give up on her dreams.

Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence is a four-day mentoring program for teenagers that has been held at Walt Disney World Resort every year since 2008. To learn more, visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com.


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