Outstanding group of 100 teens selected from among thousands for the 2020 Disney Dreamers Academy, an all-expenses-paid mentoring experience of a lifetime

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 16, 2020) – Today, Walt Disney World Resort revealed the 100extraordinary high school students from across the nation who will participate in the 2020 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. Each student receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World to participate in the immersive, transformational four-day experience that will take place March 12-15.

To celebrate the students’ selection, ABC’s Good Morning America surprised one member of the new 2020 class, Myah Mitchell of Cambria Heights, NY, by showing up at her school this morning to tell her the news. The full list of students is available at www.DisneyDreamersAcademy.com.

The program, now in its 13th year, is a part of Walt Disney World’s commitment to helping the next generation of young people by inspiring them at a critical time in their development. The Disney Dreamers Academy theme is “Be100,” encouraging teens to be positive, to be “all in” and to carry what they learn back with them so they can relentlessly pursue their dreams and make a difference in the lives of others.

“After 12 successful years, we know the profound impact this program has on these students,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World Resort vice president and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “One dream can change the world, and through Disney Dreamers Academy we hope to help these amazing teens turn their dreams into reality.”

Participating students, known as “Disney Dreamers,” embark on a journey throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks and behind the scenes of this 40-square-mile vacation destination. It’s a vibrant classroom where students discover new career opportunities, pursue their dreams, and interact with Harvey and other celebrities and motivational speakers. Past celebrity participants have included singer NE-YO, NBA legend and business mogul Magic Johnson, the star of the Disney’s upcoming live-action “Little Mermaid” Halle Bailey, gospel music star Yolanda Adams, and personalities and cast members from across the Disney corporate family including “Good Morning America’’, ESPN, Disney Channel, the TV series “black-ish” and “grown-ish.”

Students participate in immersive career-oriented workshops that explore a wide range of career disciplines found at Walt Disney World, learning life tools such as effective communication techniques, leadership skills and networking strategies.

“I know from personal experience that big dreams lead to big success,” said Harvey. “Disney understands that concept better than any other company and that is why I partner with them every year on this program to encourage big dreams for the next generation.”

Since 2008, Walt Disney World Resort has provided all-expenses-paid trips to more than 1,200 students, plus a parent or guardian, to participate in the annual Disney Dreamers Academy. Students are selected from thousands of applicants who answered essay questions about their personal stories and dreams for the future.

“Meeting the 100 impressive students selected for Disney Dreamers Academy each year is a personal highlight for me,” said Michelle Ebanks, Chief Executive Officer of Essence Communications Inc. “I am continually amazed by their ambition, talent and perseverance. Partnering with Disney on this program is an opportunity to carry out our ongoing mission to inspire, inform and empower.”

For more information, visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com. Regular updates about Disney Dreamers Academy are also available on social media at Facebook.com/DisneyDreamersAcademy, Twitter.com/DreamersAcademyandInstagram.com/disneydreamersacademy.

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 The 100 students selected to participate in the 2020 Disney Dreamers Academy are (listed by state):

First Name Last Name City State
Landon Humphrey Clovis CA
Kamila Kaloyan Coronado CA
Lydia Kim Cypress CA
Makayla Gubbay Encinitas CA
Audrey Hoven Fort Irwin CA
Michael McPhie Irvine CA
Taylor Haywood Los Angeles CA
Nicole Munoz Pacific Grove CA
Bridget Darrah Sacramento CA
Yakari Jackson Sacramento CA
Blain Engeda San Leandro CA
DAndre Jorge San Marcos CA
Sydney Vaughn Sunnyvale CA
Micah Norton Berthoud CO
Makenna Turner Lafayette CO
Cassidy Wilson Oxford CT
Nicole Hemphill Newark DE
Estefania Alcala Belle Glade FL
Jonathan Williams Boca Raton FL
Jonathan Shelton Jacksonville FL
David Daise Kissimmee FL
Rouri Hall Lauderhill FL
Emma Moise Miami FL
Simone Till St Petersburg FL
Nia Marshall Williston FL
Deesha Panchal Acworth GA
Zaria Walker Buford GA
Imani Gunnison Conyers GA
Anudeepa Ramachandiran Duluth GA
Ashalah Wright Fairburn GA
Ketsia Alberto Jonesboro GA
Genesis Weever Lithonia GA
Joseph Adams Marietta GA
Adonna McBride McDonough GA
Cleveland Newton Pooler GA
Aaliyah Phillips Sharpsburg GA
Ceci Smith Statesboro GA
Patric Boyd Stone Mountain GA
Caitlyn Carter Valdosta GA
Jeremiah Lewis Chicago IL
Jaden Maloney Chicago IL
Kennedy Crye Joliet IL
Mary Catherine Hanafeelaplante Mount Prospect IL
Ariyana Irving Gary IN
Brylee Huber Burlington KS
Britney Doan Junction City KS
Kaniya Harris Louisville KY
Erica McPheeters Louisville KY
Joshua Koch Paris KY
Jarius Gipson New Orleans LA
Morgan Lance Littleton MA
Caroline Curran Pocasset MA
Caitlyn Lynch Hyattsville MD
Alexander Spiller Detroit MI
Maria Cheriyan Farmington Hills MI
Nylah Dobson Southfield MI
Kaelynn Gore Florissant MO
Ethan Alsup Hamilton MS
Maurisca Woods Jackson MS
Abby Waters Casar NC
Morgan Wright Fayetteville NC
Ivanya Johnson Kinston NC
Brynna Miller Monroe NC
Reagan Razon Morrisville NC
Sterling Thomas Riegelwood NC
Timothy Hoffman Norfolk NE
Aisling Smith Auburn NH
Jessica Carscadden Chester NH
Grace Lunney Newmarket NH
Sydney Cobb East Windsor NJ
Sadie Munoz Maplewood NJ
Fatoumata Soumare Brooklyn NY
Myah Mitchell Cambria Heights NY
Matthew Roberson Chittenango NY
Hannah Tuso Livingston Manor NY
Danielle Phillip Valley Stream NY
Claire Martin Lakewood OH
Trinity Marsh Lyndhurst OH
Belise Nishimwe Portland OR
Tawni Doliveira Ebensburg PA
Caroline Gray Bath PA
Conor Amendola Erie PA
Ajae Richardson Norristown PA
Mikayla Merin Philadelphia PA
David Jackson Columbia SC
Caia Roberts-Jones Columbia SC
Hannah Rutland Ridgeway SC
Korrie Jolivet Beaumont TX
Nevaeh Deleon Houston TX
Kaila Simmons McKinney TX
Theodore Mielke Prosper TX
Keshav Vasanth Richardson TX
Aralyn Hilliard San Antonio TX
Amari Mealy Alexandria VA
Esha Venkat Ashburn VA
Azaria Cherry Norfolk VA
Kailin Frye Woodbridge VA
Gabrielle Ragsdale Orting WA
Emily Rinick Cross Lanes WV

 

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:

Harvey is an author, actor, producer and comedian. He is the host of the nationally syndicated radio program, “Steve Harvey Morning Show” as well as host and executive producer of multiple television shows including “Family Feud,” and “Celebrity Family Feud.”

About ESSENCE Communications Inc.:

ESSENCE Communications Inc. (ECI) is the #1 media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events and online. The company’s flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the ESSENCE Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, ESSENCE.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 45 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of 14.1 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women’s lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at www.essence.com.