A Lil Positivity: 100 Lucky Students Join Celebs For Empowering Weekend At Disney’s Dreamer’s Academy 2018

- By Bossip Staff
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Actor Jussie Smollett and pop star Ne-Yo share inspiring stories with high school students Saturday, March 10, 2018, during a panel discussion of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy, taking place March 8-11, 2018 is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Gregg Newton, photographer)

Steve Harvey, Yolanda Adams, Ne-Yo, Emmitt Smith & More Mentor Students At 11th Annual Dreamers Academy

Lucky teens got a chance to get up close and personal with some of their favorite celebs at Walt Disney World as part of a workshop to encourage them to follow their dreams.

One hundred lucky high school students from around the country attended the 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy last weekend, hosted by Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

During the four day workshop, the students, known as “dreamers,” received mentoring and career advice from celebrities like Steve Harvey, NFL great Emmit Smith, Ne-Yo, “Empire’s” Jussie Smollett and “Blackish’s” Miles Brown and Marsai Martin about staying true to what they want to do with their lives and using fear and failure as a teaching tool.

“Fear is paralyzing,” said Ne-Yo, who revealed he still gets nervous every time he takes the stage. “It can literally stop you from moving in every aspect of what it is that you do. And it’s up to you to allow that fear to be fuel as opposed to something that stops you from moving.”

High school students from Florida star in a special parade Thursday, March 8, at Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. to signal the beginning of the 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE magazine. The event, taking place March 8-11, 2018 at Walt Disney World Resort, is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

This year’s theme was #Be100, a phrase meant to remind the students to remain authentically themselves as they pursue their passions.

“Your success and your future has a lot to do with your imagination,” Harvey told the teens. “You imagination is God talking to you…I’m on TV today because I imagined it. The same thing God did for me, he’ll do for you!”

(top-bottom, l-r) Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Steve Harvey, Tracey D. Powell, executive champion for Disney Dreamers Academy and Mikki Taylor, editor-at-large for Essence Magazine star in a special parade Thursday, March 8, at Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The parade signals the beginning of the 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE magazine. The event, taking place March 8-11, 2018 at Walt Disney World Resort, is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

High school junior Jaterria, 17, of Cartersville, Ga., said the program had a huge impact on her and made her even more determined to pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon.

“It’s been great,” Jaterria said of her experience. “Usually I’m an introvert, but I’ve been able to get out of my comfort zone a little bit…Having something like is shaping all of us, and shaping our futures. It’s very extraordinary and very exciting to be here.”

The event closed with an emotional commencement ceremony, where Yolanda Adams performed with a choir. Later, the teens’ parents’ presented them with graduation rings.

Gospel superstar Yolanda Adams gives a stirring performance Sunday, March 11, 2018, during commencement of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Adams was one of several celebrities who participated in the 11th annual event, taking place March 8-11, 2018, at Walt Disney World Resort. Disney Dreamers Academy is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students across the U.S. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

Hit the flip for more pics from the Dreamer’s Academy:

Actor Jussie Smollett poses for selfies with high school students at Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE following a panel discussion Saturday, March 10, 2018 at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy, taking place March 8-11, 2018 is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Gregg Newton, photographer)

High school students Jordan Purvis and Victoria Hardy pose with Michelle Ebanks, president of ESSENCE Communications, after receiving an internship opportunity with ESSENCE Magazine during commencement of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy, taking place March 8-11, 2018 is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

ABC’s “Black-ish” stars Miles Brown and Marsai Martin share inspiring stories with high school students Saturday, March 10, 2018, during a panel discussion of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy, taking place March 8-11, 2018 is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

High school students experience an emotional moment Sunday, March 11, 2018, during the commencement ceremony of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy, taking place March 8-11, 2018 is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

Performers from the “Festival of the Lion King” show presented at Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrate the commencement of the 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine on Sunday, March 11, 2018, at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The annual event is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

Academy Award-nominated costume designer Ruth E. Carter, who recently worked on “Black Panther,” shares inspiring stories with high school students Saturday, March 10, 2018, during a panel discussion of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy, taking place March 8-11, 2018 is a career-inspiration program for distinguished high school students from across the U.S. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

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