'Dream come true:' Central Florida teens take part in Disney's Dreamers Academy
Largest group from Central Florida represented this year
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – One hundred high school students and their parents from across the country are getting an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World this weekend to take part in the Disney Dreamers Academy.
This year, five are from Central Florida. The largest representation yet.
"This is the first year in our 12 years, this is the highest number of dreamers that are coming from Central Florida so we are excited to have them," said Tracey Powell, executive champion of the Disney Dreamers Academy.
Those five were among thousands who applied for the four-day academy, which allows the students to paired with experts and work side by with them in the field they want to ultimately be in -- from veterinarians at Animal Kingdom to celebrity chefs and authors.
"As you know, Walt Disney was a dreamer," Powell said. "So we love for our dreamers to come down and dream, but not only dream, but dream big -- really pursue those dreams so they can jump start them when they go back to their homes."
Gabrielle Wright, 15, from Orlando, wants to become an actress and is excited to learn from a professional.
"I want to absorb as much as possible, to learn from the greats in the industry," Wright said.
Not only that, but she's dreaming big when it comes to building the platform to push her charity called "A Birthday Party Wish."
It's a charity she started when she was just 8 years old.
"We provide birthday parties for children who never had one, or their parents can't afford it," Wright said.
It was an idea she got when she was volunteering at shelters such as the Orlando Union Rescue Mission and the Boys & Girls Club of Orlando.
"They would always throw community birthday parties," she said. "I didn't feel like that was special enough for the day that God brought you into the world."
Many of the students represented in the Disney Dreamers Academy have stories, dreams and aspirations just like hers.
Powell said to become a dreamer, you don't have to excel in school, or be above average, you just have to be able to articulate your dream.
"We want to make sure this is an opportunity for any student," Powell said.
The only requirement is you have to be in high school.
To apply or for more information on the Disney Dreamers Academy, click here.
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