Over the weekend, 100 students from across the country celebrated the conclusion of Disney Dreamers Academy’s 15th year with an emotional commencement ceremony.
According to a news release obtained by Blavity, during the ceremony, singer, songwriter, actress, and executive producer Kelly Rowland delivered a powerful speech on not being afraid to fail.
“You can’t be afraid to fail. I think that’s always a part of the process. There are so many successful, brilliant people that have failed, but it’s all about the way they got back up,” Rowland said. “I think that’s just a part of the journey. If you get a no, it’s all about the way you bounce back.”
The ceremony also featured Mali Music and Disney Entertainment’s musical performances and a moving ring presentation to recognize the teens’ accomplishments.
Walt Disney World Resort selects Disney Dreamers from among thousands of applicants each year to participate in a four-day, once-in-a-lifetime educational mentoring program annually.
During the event, the 100 students participated in several programs, including; a unique caravan through the Magic Kingdom along with Rowland and fashion designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, exposed to a wide variety of career opportunities at Walt Disney World and beyond, interactive workshops that provide experiences highlighting career paths and more.
On the celebrity panel, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Kierra Sheard, Mali Music and Faithe Herman from NBC drama series “This Is Us,” as well as Demi Singleton, who portrayed tennis ace Serena Williams in the Oscar-nominated film “King Richard” and starred in Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway.
Walt Disney World Resort created and hosts the program to increase career awareness and provide opportunities for Black students and teens from underrepresented communities across the country.
Disney Dreamers Academy has guided more than 1,400 students on a career-discovery journey since 2008. Participants are inspired to discover career opportunities, pursue their dreams, and interact with celebrities and motivational speakers.
Disney Dreamers is a significant part of Disney’s commitment to supporting diverse communities, such as Black America, by encouraging the next generation to think big and carry what they learn back with them, so they can relentlessly pursue their dreams and make a difference in the lives of others.