Miami Gardens teen picked for Disney workshop

All-expense paid trip for education, mentoring

Miami Times staff report | 3/6/2014, 9 a.m.

100 teens, including Miami Garden resident KiAundra Kilpatrick, were selected to receive an all-expense paid trip to Walt Disney World from March 6 through the 9 but they won’t be vacationing.

Instead, they will participate in the Disney Dreamers Academy, an unorthodox, educational and mentoring program that encompasses a four days. The workshops are taught by celebrities such as Steve Harvey and Yolanda Adams. Harvey, along with ESSENCE Magazine host the Academy annually in partnership with Disney.


Disney Dreamers Academy: KiAundra Kilpatrick from Miami Gardens was awarded an all-expense-paid trip to the Walt Disney Resort to participate in Disney Dreamers Academy.

15 students were selected from Florida.

Each year, students participate in the hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a bevy of career paths ranging from animation to zoology.

Each participant learns skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies.

What is Dream Defenders?

It takes place at Walt Disney World. Both on stage and behind the scenes, the theme parks become vibrant classrooms leading to innovative career opportunities.

“Disney Dreamers Academy gives hope and inspiration and exposes youth to a world of possibilities,” said Harvey. “We are excited about another opportunity to transform lives and give students an inside look at what their future can hold.”

The students are dubbed as “Dreamers” and are given the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while gaining first-hand knowledge from Disney experts, entrepreneurs and executives.

“This program transcends the normal classroom setting, taking learning to the next level,” said ESSENCE Magazine’s communications president Michelle Ebanks. “This year we plan to go above and beyond to encourage Dreamers. Our valued partnership with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey represents our commitment to the leaders of tomorrow.”

Motivational speakers and celebrities share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and dream big.

“Over the past six years, we have helped 600 Dreamers unlock their potential and get started on their journeys in life,” said Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell. “The seventh Disney Dreamers Academy marks another year of continued motivation, education and success. Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Communications share in our vision of enriching lives. Everyone leaves this program inspired to live their best life.”