Darrell Fry, the Sports Media Director for Walt Disney World Resort, shared some insight into the celebrations on the Disney Parks Blog. “I was there that day,” he wrote in the blog post. “It was more than a decade ago, 15 years to be more precise, when we here at Walt Disney World Resort first opened our arms and welcomed a group of talented young teens from across the country for an innovative new mentoring program we called Disney Dreamers Academy“.
This United States mentorship program was initially created to “nurture, foster and develop the career aspirations of hundreds and hundreds of teens around the country, particularly Black students and those in underrepresented communities”. As Darrell Fry put it, “many of those same faces in that first program, and ones in the subsequent groups that followed each year, today are doctors, engineers, performing artists, humanitarians and more. Lucky enough for us, a couple of them have even become Disney Cast Members”.
Participants in the Disney Dreamers mentorship program are “immersed in vibrant career workshops, networking sessions and mentorship events led by business executives, community leaders and celebrities”. There is a wide variety when it comes to the workshops, which is even more beneficial for the high school students that are teen participants. Cast Members and mentors from the program met with Good Morning America to present the high school students in the new class of 2022 as well; see the event in the Tweet below!
We’re celebrating 15 years of the Disney Dreamers Academy and revealing the new 2022 class of Disney Dreamers and an exclusive announcement about the program!@Janai joins us live from @WaltDisneyWorld with Mickey and friends!@dreamersacademy#ddaDisneyhttps://t.co/kWY5S6eOU4 pic.twitter.com/2BS3bRDQaJ
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 17, 2022
The program is based in the United States; its newest batch of students will begin the program on March 3, with the experience ending on March 6, and Disney promises them its “most innovative curriculum yet, one that involves new immersions, new educational workshops and more” to help them become young leaders for the future in their desired fields.
As the Academy mentor program grows, Disney is also adding college scholarships to the mix for 11 students. These scholarships will be meant for “students from underrepresented communities attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities through a collaboration with ESPN’s The Undefeated and GRAMMY-nominated rap artist Cordae”.