Creative, Talented and Inspiring High School Students Chosen for This Year’s Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort

From the Walt Disney World News and written by:

Exclusive Walt Disney World Resort mentoring event fosters dreams of Black students and teens from underrepresented communities; 100 outstanding students from New York to California to be part of the multi-day event in March

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2023) – A budding artist, an aspiring neurosurgeon and a creative storyteller are among the 100 talented high school students selected for this year’s Disney Dreamers Academy, an educational mentoring program hosted at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The 100 students from across the country will descend on Walt Disney World Resort March 23-26 for the 16th annual event, aimed at broadening career awareness and creating exclusive opportunities for Black students and teens from underrepresented communities across America.

To kick off the announcement of the 2023 class, Mickey Mouse, Disney executives, and international recording star Kelly Rowland surprised one of the students with the news of her selection live on national TV from her school in Newark, N. J. Afterwards, the names of the entire Class of 2023 were displayed on a Times Square billboard.

Rowland, the four-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress and television executive producer, served last year as the program’s ambassador and as an advocate for the students. She shared personal insights, drawing from her own unique experience as a pre-teen performer, then as a teenager in one of the best-selling female groups of all time, Destiny’s Child.

The Disney Dreamers program is an important part of Disney’s commitment to support diverse communities. By encouraging the next generation to think big, Disney hopes the students will carry what they learn back home and continue pursuing their dreams.

“We’re ready to welcome another outstanding group of teens from across the country for our 16th year!” said Tracey Powell, Disney Signature Experiences vice president and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “They are going to have the experience of a lifetime, setting them on a journey to go out and achieve their dreams, just like the classes who came before them.”

Since 2008, Disney Dreamers Academy has inspired more than 1,500 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 become storytellers, artists, engineers, innovators, journalists and more, and have transitioned into mentors to the Disney Dreamers who follow them.

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 enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida for the four-day event.

The Disney Dreamers embark on a journey throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks and behind the scenes of the 40-square-mile vacation destination. It is a vibrant classroom where students discover new career opportunities, pursue their dreams and interact with Disney executives, educators, business leaders, celebrities and motivational speakers.

Students participate in immersive, career-oriented workshops that explore a wide range of career disciplines while also learning essential skills, such as effective communication techniques, leadership and networking strategies.

Past celebrity participants have included stars from the big screen and television, noted sports figures and popular musicians, as well as personalities and cast members from across the Disney family, including “Good Morning America,’’ ESPN, Disney Channel and the ABC 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/DreamersAcademy and Instagram.com/disneydreamersacademy.

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The 100 students selected for the 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy are (listed by state):

First Name Last Name City State
Chelsea Williams Hoover AL
Radhika Pant Hoover AL
Tyler Chiu Northridge CA
Ella Milstein La Jolla CA
Rashad Tyler Highland CA
Ryan Nelson Concord CA
Tina Mai Newport Coast CA
Octavia Carey Inglewood CA
Isabella Cabello Tulare CA
Madison Henderson Los Angeles CA
Brooke Sibala Chula Vista CA
Sanvi Prakash San Ramon CA
Cisco Hernandez National City CA
Melanie Cho Alhambra CA
April Ortiz Anaheim CA
Casey Folau Maywood CA
Xavier Forbes San Diego CA
Allison Jensen Thornton CO
Jonathan De Caro Moodus CT
Yasmeen Galal Prospect CT
Mary Amma Blankson Madison CT
Miguel Coppedge Washington DC
Sophia Juroviesky Boca Raton FL
Dorsey Miller Parkland FL
Zara Lwin Orlando FL
Sophia Dupeyron Cape Coral FL
Kaitlyn Jadevaia Sarasota FL
Megan Fajardo Destin FL
Kimora Reed Saint Petersburg FL
Cynthia Medina Bradenton FL
Cameron West Jacksonville FL
Sara Kaufman Hollywood FL
Noah Spinelli Orlando FL
Pamela Musungu Acworth GA
Zachariah Hickey Bonaire GA
Ava Flanigan Morrow GA
Ava Adams Atlanta GA
Jordan Adeyemi Duluth GA
Pippa Key Summerville GA
Jaden Jenkins Augusta GA
Kirasten Perkins Savannah GA
Erin Shen Statesboro GA
Dylan Jones Smyrna GA
Bradley Ross Jackson Normal IL
Tamaya Mcneal Joliet IL
Nora Sun Chicago IL
Nyla Bishop Flossmoor IL
Aramia Gutierrez Whiting IN
Jaylynn Powe Baton Rouge LA
Charles Steele Slidell LA
Audrey Brust Zachary LA
Tasneem Ghadiali Lexington MA
Xin Yue Lu Lutherville Timonium MD
Aria Smith Upper Marlboro MD
Lindsey Sands Columbia MD
Makayla Joaquin Fort Washington MD
Saniyah Ikard Bowie MD
Natalyn Taylor Ellicott City MD
Julian Morris Saginaw MI
Keenan Burns Redford MI
Preston Zabinko Ann Arbor MI
Addison Richmond Jackson MI
Kennedy Jones Berkeley MO
Zania Stinson Charlotte NC
Jada Stewart Wilson NC
Ryan Razon Morrisville NC
Mosope Aina Newark NJ
Elise Tao Upper Saddle River NJ
Maria Maione Egg Harbor City NJ
Claudia Merchan Hackensack NJ
Amechi Chukwujiorah-Strange Flushing NY
Autumn Tyler Chester NY
Morgan Lin Brooklyn NY
Emily Melendez Rego Park NY
Logan Williams Cleveland OH
Sophia Barbee Maineville OH
Mckinley Meeker Hudson OH
Kyle Zhou Solon OH
Aziza Mccarter Jenks OK
Neighujah Harmon Oklahoma City OK
Amelia Godard Sherwood OR
Eliza Watkins Portland OR
Anjana Pramod West Chester PA
Prerna Chakkingal Mc Donald PA
Joslyn Diffenbaugh Kutztown PA
Tavis Sanders Philadelphia PA
Sydney Simmons Tiverton RI
Benjamin Brown Columbia SC
Hannah Hollings Brentwood TN
Toluwakitan Akinsola Antioch TN
Sydney Roberts Plano TX
Yaddeni Hailu Lewisville TX
Shane Mushambi Missouri City TX
Medha Pulluru Cedar Park TX
Alvaro Alvarez Elgin TX
Elle Chavis Dallas TX
Nia Curry Trophy Club TX
Tierra Brown Pearland TX
Eliora Margaret Kwakye Olympia WA
Julius Zakaria Oak Creek WI

 

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.

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