The first Disney Dreamers Academy Virtual Program Series recently held its commencement ceremony, which was packed with tributes from celebrities, musical performances, and more.
One hundred teens from across the U.S. were celebrated for completing the 12-week program of live and on-demand video sessions designed to help them jump-start their life goals and follow their dreams.
Inspired by the Disney Dreamers Academy program that has taken place at Walt Disney World Resort in the past, this virtual program was available for free to the 2020 class to continue educating and inspiring during the pandemic. The virtual series began on Sept. 26, 2020, and was followed by 12 weekends full of presentations by Disney leaders, business professionals, and celebrities.
For the commencement, Disney Dreamers were treated to a grand production, featuring special performances by and tributes from celebrities like Anthony Anderson from ABC’s “black-ish,” actress Yvette Nicole Brown and Arica Himmel of ABC’s “mixed-ish.” Anderson, Brown and Himmel also joined Disney Signature Experiences Vice President and Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell, as event co-hosts.
To add to the excitement, the Disney Dreamers were awarded career shadowing externships. A first for the program, each student will be paired with a professional from their field of interest for a spring 2021 mentoring experience. Mentors will bring knowledge and expertise from Walt Disney Imagineering, The Walt Disney Studios, ABC, Pixar, Essence Magazine, National Geographic, and other organizations.
“We took great pride in presenting the Disney Dreamers Academy Virtual Program Series,” said Powell. “The virtual platform gave us a chance to amplify the Disney Dreamers Academy theme, ‘Be100,’ which encourages teens to be positive, to be ‘all in’ and to make a difference.”
After the celebration ended, the motivation continued. Students received inspiration and career advice from Disney Dreamers Academy alumni via video conference, while parents connected with Disney Dreamers Academy speakers and program advocates for a motivational session of their own.
“We could not be more impressed with this year’s class and the curiosity, positive outlook and perseverance it’s shown the last 12 weeks,” said Powell. “This was a unique opportunity for us to touch the lives of these 100 students, and we know they are destined for great things.”
Traditionally, this event brings 100 students from across the country for an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World, where they take part in a four-day learning experience. This year’s virtual event was launched after the March 12-15, 2020 event ended early due to the pandemic.
To learn more, visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com.