Aiken student selected for Disney Dreamers Academy

AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - One Aiken student is going on an all-expense-paid trip to Disney World, but she won't be vacationing.

Rachel Toney is one of 100 teens selected for the next Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. She (and a parent) will travel to the Walt Disney World Resort March 6-9 for an innovative, outside-the-classroom, educational and mentoring program.

Entering its seventh year, Disney Dreamers Academy continues to give students the opportunity to participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a bevy of career paths, ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies.

It all takes place in a magical setting: the Walt Disney World theme parks. Both on stage and behind the scenes, the parks become vibrant "classrooms."

Motivational speakers and celebrities share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and dream big. Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives.

"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."

Walt Disney World Resort along with Steve Harvey, a syndicated television and radio personality, and ESSENCE Magazine will host the selected Dreamers during their four-day power packed career and educational exploration.

This year's 100 students were selected from nearly 10,000 applicants - the most applicants in the history of the program - by a panel of judges representing the best in their fields that included Powell, Harvey and Ebanks. Applicants answered a series of essay questions about their personal stories and life dreams.

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