From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Thomas Smith
Whether they’re learning advanced language skills or pursuing a Master’s degree, our Cast Members are reaching their educational goals and dreams – all thanks to Disney Aspire. This groundbreaking education program, which recently celebrated one magical year, provides a variety of degree and certificate programs with 100% of costs covered by Disney.
For Miranda Tong, a Guest Communications Specialist who has been with the Walt Disney Travel Company for almost ten years, putting her #DreamsWithinReach means earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with aspirations of pursing a legal or security role at Disney!
“I’ve always been drawn to criminal justice so when I saw that it was available through Disney Aspire, I was so excited. This is my passion,” said Miranda.
Miranda has always had a passion for research and wanted to go to college to learn and grow in the field of criminal justice, but shortly after she began taking classes, she pivoted to start her family. Her first priority shifted from her educational dreams to raising her children, but now that her kids are grown, she says it’s time to put her career goals back in view.
“As I got older and my kids started to go to college, I thought ‘it’s my turn,’ and with Disney Aspire, I decided to put myself first,” shared Miranda.
When Miranda first heard about Disney Aspire, she thought that it was too good to be true. After seeing how accessible it was and witnessing many of her coworkers enroll in the program, she realized it was time for her to go back to school. That was when Miranda’s Disney Aspire journey began.
“This program has changed my life, as it’s given me the opportunity to follow my dreams of pursuing a career in criminal justice. I would’ve had to go out of my way to do this, but Disney put this program in front of me and they’re handing me my dreams,” said Miranda. “Disney has given me a great opportunity to continue working at a job I love, with people I love – all while pursuing my passions.”
Miranda is well on her way to reaching her dream career in criminal justice and she has even received two Dean’s List certificates from Bellevue University in the process!
“It was such a great feeling to receive my Dean’s List certificates,” she recalls. “It was hard for me to find my groove at first, and I didn’t even know if I could earn it. It was great to know that I still have the knack to learn.”
Since launching in 2018, this unique program has been helping eligible Cast Members like Miranda to pursue their dreams. Stay tuned for more stories about how Disney Cast Members are putting their #DreamsWithinReach with Disney Aspire!
Learn more about Disney Aspire by visiting aspire.disney.com.