Students take a ‘Deep Dive’ at Disney Dreamers Academy

Mickey Mouse surprises students during a hands-on Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy, taking place March 8-11, 2018 is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. ( GREGG NEWTON PHOTO
Mickey Mouse surprises students during a hands-on Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy, taking place March 8-11, 2018 is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Youth listened to inspirational speakers and got the chance to experience their future careers on second day of the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine on Friday.

The theme for the day was “Be 100: Great Risk. Great Reward.” Along with hearing inspirational speeches, Dreamers participated in hands-on workshops in various career fields around Walt Disney World.

The Dreamers attended the “Be 100 Breakfast” program in the morning where they learned valuable skills about networking and leadership.

Speakers during the day included former Disney Dreamers Academy alumnus and motivational speaker Princeton Parker and motivational speaker Jonathan Sprinkles.

Motivational Speaker Jonathan Sprinkles speaks at the Disney Dreamers Academy
Motivational Speaker Jonathan Sprinkles speaks at the Disney Dreamers Academy

“We are starting a brand new decade of Disney Dreamers Academy and I believe we have a fresh new crop of special students who see more, they dream bigger,” Sprinkles said. “I believe we’re going to see some people get out here and change the world.”

Tracey D. Powell, Vice President of Deluxe Resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion, hosted programming during the day for parents.

In the afternoon the Dreamers participated in “Deep Dives” at Disney University and throughout the Disney Park. Dreamers were given a more personalized experience in small groups based on their career interests.

Sean Smith, 14, who is attending the Dreamers Academy from Basking Ridge New Jersey participated in a Deep Dive with engineers from Walt Disney World

“It’s really a lot of fun and I’ve met at of people,” he said. “The speakers were really inspiring and it changes you to hear their stories and makes you a better person. We’ve learned so much.”

Sean Smith participating in a "Deep Dive" at the Disney Dreamers Academy
Sean Smith participating in a “Deep Dive” at the Disney Dreamers Academy

The day ended with a networking event where Dreamers were able to network with professionals including guest speakers and Disney executives and partners from

On Saturday, the Dreamers are splitting up into male and female groups to participate in sessions about image awareness.

Famed educator Dr. Steve Perry, Brandi and Karli Harvey, Dr. Alex Ellis and author Sonia Jackson Myles are also hosting presentations. There will also be a celebrity panel featuring former NFL player and businessman Emmitt Smith, singer Ne-Yo, Empire start Jussie Smollett and Ruth Carter, costume designer for the film Black Panther.

Dreamers will showcase what they learned and created during their “Deep Dives” in the evening.

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