Disney Dreamers Academy panelists share message of entrepreneurship
Carla St.Louis | 3/20/2014, 9 a.m.
The Academy's underlying message is to attach dreams, interests or skills to a tangible business venture.
Kilpatrick was also a participant of Harvey’s gender based mentorship sessions that teaches female Dreamers self-respect and structured dating.
“You have something that’s precious that God made and you are sitting on a gold mine,” said Harvey. “So act like it. I help girls have a new respect for themselves. [These boys] are predators.”
Kilpatrick, like other Dreamers declined to share her girls only talk session with Harvey.
Harvey also taught a similar session only for boys, discussing the principles of manhood.
Harvey said the academy is also a healthy way for kids to escape the harsh realities of low income neighborhoods.
“Poverty is exhausting […] Figuring out how you gon’ make your ends meet is tiring,” said Harvey. “A dream without action is just sleep. People say, “Money can’t buy you happiness but poverty can’t buy you a damn thing.”
He further continued: “The only way to fix the problems in our community is to ask the men because the women have been doing it all for so long,” said Harvey after a reporter asked him about President Obama’s, My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative that also helps foster the potential in men of color similar to the Academy. "Men need to step up and be men. Woman cannot fix this problem. The problem is men-oriented. I’ve spoken to the President personally; the men are the problem. It’s dead on point but he can’t come out and say it.”
“We ask you to dream--to not only dream but dream big,” said Tracey Powell, Vice President of Global Initiatives and Integrations for Disney, Inc. “You all were chosen because we saw the leader and dreamer in you.”
Other program mentors had words of encouragement, too for the Dreamers.
“Live life without any limits,” said Sharon Ebanks, director of communications for ESSENCE Magazine.
“You have made a purchase,” said Mikki Taylor. “You’ve just made an investment to your future. You ought to thank God right now and milk it for all its worth.”