Applications Now Open for the Tenth Annual Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE

High School applicants for Disney Dreamers Academy class of 2017 to be selected for exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime program

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., June 1, 2016 — (PRNewswire) —  High school students nationwide can now apply to be among 100 students selected to participate in the 2017 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE, the innovative, outside-the-classroom, mentoring program at Walt Disney World Resort. The 2017 Disney Dreamers Academy will mark the program's 10th year.

Disney Dreamers Academy

Steve Harvey, syndicated radio and television personality, along with ESSENCE and Walt Disney World Resort will host selected Dreamers during a four-day power-packed career and educational exploration in March 2017. "Giving back is important to me, and especially to our youth - our future leaders, entrepreneurs, and aspiring artists." said Harvey. "We've seen more than 900 committed students come through the program, and I'm excited to find the next 100. The tenth anniversary will be special, and I encourage all high school students to take a minute of their time to apply for this incredible opportunity."

For nearly a decade, Disney Dreamers Academy has helped to inspire young minds from across the country by fueling their dreams and showing them a world of possibilities as they prepare for the future. Each year, students participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a variety of career paths, ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills, such as communication techniques, leadership values, and networking strategies.

The event takes place in the very magical and creative setting of Walt Disney World Resort. Dreamers are taken both on stage and behind the scenes, where Disney theme parks become vibrant 'classrooms,' leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

"We're excited to welcome back Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE for the tenth year," said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts vice president of deluxe resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. "This program is unique for the opportunity it affords teens to be inspired and motivated to accomplish their goals. By applying for Disney Dreamers Academy, high school students from across the country are taking an important step forward that can influence and change their lives forever."

Disney Dreamers are exposed to celebrity motivational speakers and special guests who share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and DREAM BIG. Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives.

ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, "ESSENCE has been honored to help identify the next generation of big dreamers and welcome them to Walt Disney World Resort for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This tenth year will be no exception, and we're delighted to further play a role in setting our future leaders on the path to success."

Applicants to the Disney Dreamers Academy program must answer essay questions about their personal stories and their dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a combination of attributes, including strong character, positive attitude and determination to achieve their dreams.

Select Disney Dreamers, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where they will participate in life-changing sessions and be  surrounded by the creativity and innovation represented in Disney theme parks around the world. Disney Dreamers Academy will take place March 2017.

Applications are open to U.S. high school students, ages 13 to 19, through Oct. 31, 2016. A distinguished panel of leaders will judge the applications, and winners will be announced towards the end of 2016.

For more information regarding applications, interested applicants can visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com, or follow the Dreamers on Facebook.com/DisneyDreamersAcademy or 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 "Steve Harvey Morning Show," which airs in over 60 markets and has over 7 million listeners. He is host of "Steve Harvey," a nationally syndicated daytime talk show.

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.

Disney Dreamers Academy

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SOURCE Walt Disney World Resort

Contact:
Walt Disney World Resort
ESSENCE Communications Inc.
Geoffrey Pointon
Email Contact 407.566.7198
Web: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com




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