High School Teens Have Till Oct. 31, 2011, to Submit Applications for 2012 Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine

DAPs Magic Disney News – PRESS RELEASE

Program Celebrates Five Years
of Igniting Lives, Dreams and Passions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Plans are underway for the fifth class of Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. In March, 2012, 100 high school students ages 13-19 from across the United States will gather in the world’s most creative classroom, Walt Disney World Resort, for a weekend of special events, educational workshops, personal enhancement and professional enrichment that will unite them with entertainment experts, motivational speakers and world-class business professionals.

The students will be selected by a distinguished panel of leaders from the communications, education and entertainment industries who will judge nominations from parents, teachers, mentors and youth. Applications can be submitted at www.disneysdreamersacademy.com through Oct. 31, 2011. Participants will be announced in early December 2011.

Since its launch in 2007 by Disney and syndicated-radio-show host/author/comedian Steve Harvey, Disney’s Dreamers Academy has shown a world of possibilities to hundreds of teens. Every year, Dreamers participate in “immersive” workshops that allow them to take a plunge into real-world career scenarios. Each participant learns important interview skills, communication techniques and networking strategies. With a focus on hands-on experience and training, Disney’s Dreamers Academy encourages youth to DREAM BIG.

“Over the past four years, we have helped more than 400 Dreamers unlock their potential and get started on their journeys in life,” said Disney’s Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell. “The fifth Disney’s Dreamers Academy marks another year of continued motivation, education and success. Steve Harvey and Essence Communications share in our vision of enriching lives. Everyone leaves this program inspired to live their best life.”

Participants and a parent or guardian will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for the 2012 Disney’s Dreamers Academy March 8-11, 2012.

Steve Harvey, speaking on the program, said, “Disney’s Dreamers Academy gives hope and inspiration and exposes youth to a world of possibilities. The fifth year of this program will prove to be the best yet. We are excited about another opportunity to transform lives and give students an inside look at what their future can hold.”

Disney’s Dreamers Academy has evolved into a year-round initiative with its informational Facebook and Twitter social media platforms, an interactive website, presence at community-outreach-partner events like the Essence Music Festival, the National Association of Black Journalists Convention, the Bud Billiken Parade, and the addition of the recently formed Disney’s Dreamers Academy Speakers Resource Group, which consists of various Dreamers Academy event speakers and presenters who serve as program ambassadors. This year, Dreamers also had the chance to win internships, allowing them the opportunity to test skills learned at Disney’s Dreamers Academy.

Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, “We are excited about the fifth Disney’s Dreamers Academy. This program transcends the normal classroom setting, taking learning to the next level. This year we plan to go above and beyond to encourage Dreamers. Our valued partnership with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey serves as a firm commitment to the community and leaders of tomorrow.”

For more information visit www.disneysdreamersacademy.comwww.facebook.com/disneysdreamersacademy or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dreamersacademy.

About Walt Disney World Resort / The Walt Disney Co.:
Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation center located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando. The Walt Disney Co. has a rich legacy of creativity and exceptional storytelling that brings families together in unique and memorable ways. Creative excellence is coupled with a strong commitment to community service and diversity. The Walt Disney Co. is dedicated to making a positive impact in communities around the world, with a primary focus on brightening the lives of children.

About Steve Harvey:
Steve Harvey began doing stand-up comedy in the mid-1980s, which eventually led to a long stint as host of “It’s Showtime at the Apollo.” His success as a stand-up comedian led to multiple TV sitcoms, including “Me and The Boys”, “The Steve Harvey Show” and “Steve Harvey’s Big Time Challenge.”His first book, “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man,” quickly became a bestseller in 2009. Harvey has appeared on “The Oprah Show,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Currently, Harvey hosts the nationally syndicated television game show “Family Feud,” and the nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” which airs in over 60 markets and has over 7 million listeners.

About Essence Communications Inc.:
Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is “Where Black Women Come First”. The company’s flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women, generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood, Window on Our Women (WOW I & II) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD).


Media Contacts:

Annette Gibbs
Walt Disney World Public Relations


Jessica Pipkins
Burrell Communications Group


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