Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wish Upon a Star With Disney and Steve Harvey

"When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you. . . "

That's the message Disney and Steve Harvey are spreading to teens, with the hope that they'll pack their bags—and their dreams—and head to Walk Disney World Resort to participate in the Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey. The event, created to inspire and enrich high school students, invites 100 kids to participate in workshops with Disney cast members and executives, hear inspirational stories from entertainment celebrities and professional athletes, and enjoy the Disney theme parks – where they can see, first-hand, the results of people who turned their dreams into careers as "Disney dreamers." They'lll learn about careers in everything from culinary arts to animation, set design and show production to the business of sports and more. Indeed, during the 2009 Disney's Dreamers Academy, some of the guest speakers were Chef Jeff Henderson, National Football League Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, pop/R&B recording artists Fantasia and Keyshia Cole, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith and, of course, Steve Harvey.

Nominations for the Class of 2010 are being accepted from now until Oct. 2, 2009; young dreamers—who must be enrolled in high school for the 2009-10 term—can be nominated by anyone, including parents, guardians, teachers, church members, social organizations—even themselves. Although a high GPA is not required, students must exhibit a desire to learn, perhaps needing only additional motivational support to excel.

Take it from Steve: This is a fantastic program meant to inspire young people who normally don't have a chance to be exposed to a variety of job skills and job opportunities and meet with people in the fields they're interested in. "We want to give our young achievers the tools to become overachievers—to make their dreams a reality," he said.

Amen to that, my brother. I can't tell you how inspiring it was for me when I was in the 11th grade to attend and volunteer at a National Association of Black Journalists conference, where black writers and broadcasters from around the country gathered to talk about careers in journalism. I left that conference convinced that I just HAD to be a writer—and it was all because someone took the time to just talk to me about it. That's all it took—exposure.

Won't you help a teenager in your life realize his/her dream? All it takes is for us grown-ups to take the initiative to fill out a form—a simple form. WE can potentially change a kid's life. I have a few kids in mind that I'd like to nominate. If you know someone who would benefit from the Disney's Dreams Academy with Steve Harvey, click HERE to fill out the nomination forms.

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