Disney Dreamers Academy returns for 16th year of inspiration

Walt Disney World is the place “where dreams come true.” This mantra takes on new meaning during Disney Dreamers Academy, a special event returning to the resort Mar. 23-26, 2023, for its 16th year.

Images courtesy of Disney

They’re Going to Disney World!

Beginning in 2008, Disney Dreamers Academy hosts 100 students annually at Walt Disney World where participants experience workshops and programming “aimed at broadening career awareness and creating exclusive opportunities for Black students and teens from underrepresented communities across America.” Alumni from the past 15 years have gone on to make a difference in their respective fields around the world.

Disney announced the 2023 participants with the help of Mickey Mouse and Grammy-winning artist Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child. Rowland virtually appeared on “Good Morning America” to congratulate 17-year-old aspiring neuroscientist Mosope Aina from Newark, N.J., on being selected as one of the 100 students for the 2023 program. Afterward, the names of all 100 students were displayed in Times Square.

“We’re ready to welcome another outstanding group of teens from across the country for our 16th year!” said Tracey Powell, executive champion of Disney Dreamers Academy and vice president of Disney Signature Experiences. “They are going to have the experience of a lifetime, setting them on a journey to go out and achieve their dreams, just like the classes who came before them.”

The celebrity speakers listed on the event’s official website include ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and radio personality Yolanda Adams, among others.

Disney Dreamers Class of 2023

  • Chelsea Williams – Hoover, Ala.
  • Radhika Pant – Hoover, Ala.
  • Tyler Chiu – Northridge, Calif.
  • Ella Milstein – La Jolla, Calif.
  • Rashad Tyler – Highland, Calif.
  • Ryan Nelson – Concord, Calif.
  • Tina Mai – Newport Coast, Calif.
  • Octavia Carey – Inglewood, Calif.
  • Isabella Cabello – Tulare, Calif.
  • Madison Henderson – Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Brooke Sibala – Chula Vista, Calif.
  • Sanvi Prakash – San Ramon, Calif.
  • Cisco Hernandez – National City, Calif.
  • Melanie Cho – Alhambra, Calif.
  • April Ortiz – Anaheim, Calif.
  • Casey Folau – Maywood, Calif.
  • Xavier Forbes – San Diego, Calif.
  • Allison Jensen – Thornton, Colo.
  • Jonathan De Caro – Moodus, Conn.
  • Yasmeen Galal – Prospect, Conn.
  • Mary Amma Blankson – Madison, Conn.
  • Miguel Coppedge – Washington, DC
  • Sophia Juroviesky – Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Dorsey Miller – Parkland, Fla.
  • Zara Lwin – Orlando, Fla.
  • Sophia Dupeyron – Cape Coral, Fla.
  • Kaitlyn Jadevaia – Sarasota, Fla.
  • Megan Fajardo – Destin, Fla.
  • Kimora Reed – Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  • Cynthia Medina – Bradenton, Fla.
  • Cameron West – Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Sara Kaufman – Hollywood, Fla.
  • Noah Spinelli – Orlando, Fla.
  • Pamela Musungu – Acworth, Geor.
  • Zachariah Hickey – Bonaire, Geor.
  • Ava Flanigan – Morrow, Geor.
  • Ava Adams – Atlanta, Geor.
  • Jordan Adeyemi – Duluth, Geor.
  • Pippa Key – Summerville, Geor.
  • Jaden Jenkins – Augusta, Geor.
  • Kirasten Perkins – Savannah, Geor.
  • Erin Shen – Statesboro, Geor.
  • Dylan Jones – Smyrna, Geor.
  • Bradley Ross Jackson – Normal, Ill.
  • Tamaya Mcneal – Joliet, Ill.
  • Nora Sun – Chicago, Ill.
  • Nyla Bishop – Flossmoor, Ill.
  • Aramia Gutierrez – Whiting, Ind.
  • Jaylynn Powe – Baton Rouge, Lous.
  • Charles Steele – Slidell, Lous.
  • Audrey Brust – Zachary, Lous.
  • Tasneem Ghadiali – Lexington, Mass.
  • Xin Yue Lu – Lutherville Timonium, Mar.
  • Aria Smith – Upper Marlboro, Mar.
  • Lindsey Sands – Columbia, Mar.
  • Makayla Joaquin – Fort Washington, Mar.
  • Saniyah Ikard – Bowie, Mar.
  • Natalyn Taylor – Ellicott City, Mar.
  • Julian Morris – Saginaw, Mich.
  • Keenan Burns – Redford, Mich.
  • Preston Zabinko – Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Addison Richmond – Jackson, Mich.
  • Kennedy Jones – Berkeley, Miss.
  • Zania Stinson – Charlotte, NC
  • Jada Stewart – Wilson, NC
  • Ryan Razon – Morrisville, NC
  • Mosope Aina – Newark, NJ
  • Elise Tao – Upper Saddle River, NJ
  • Maria Maione – Egg Harbor City, NJ
  • Claudia Merchan – Hackensack NJ
  • Amechi Chukwujiorah-Strange – Flushing, NY
  • Autumn Tyler – Chester, NY
  • Morgan Lin – Brooklyn, NY
  • Emily Melendez – Rego Park, NY
  • Logan Williams – Cleveland, Ohio
  • Sophia Barbee – Maineville, Ohio
  • Mckinley Meeker – Hudson, Ohio
  • Kyle Zhou – Solon, Ohio
  • Aziza Mccarter – Jenks, Okla.
  • Neighujah Harmon – Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Amelia Godard – Sherwood, Ore.
  • Eliza Watkins – Portland, Ore.
  • Anjana Pramod – West Chester, Penn.
  • Prerna Chakkingal – McDonald, Penn.
  • Joslyn Diffenbaugh – Kutztown, Penn.
  • Tavis Sanders – Philadelphia, Penn
  • Sydney Simmons – Tiverton, RI
  • Benjamin Brown – Columbia, SC
  • Hannah Hollings – Brentwood, Tenn.
  • Toluwakitan Akinsola – Antioch, Tenn.
  • Sydney Roberts – Plano, Tex.
  • Yaddeni Hailu – Lewisville, Tex.
  • Shane Mushambi – Missouri City, Tex.
  • Medha Pulluru – Cedar Park, Tex.
  • Alvaro Alvarez – Elgin, Tex.
  • Elle Chavis – Dallas, Tex.
  • Nia Curry – Trophy Club, Tex.
  • Tierra Brown – Pearland, Tex.
  • Eliora Margaret Kwakye – Olympia, Wash.
  • Julius Zakaria – Oak Creek, Wisc.

Congratulations to the Disney Dreamers Academy class of 2023!

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