LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (June 30, 2011) – Plans are underway for the 2012 Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. Parents, teachers, mentors and youth can nominate U.S. high school students ages 13-19 to attend this innovative outside-the-classroom educational and mentoring program. Nominations must be submitted on www.disneysdreamersacademy.com by October 31, 2011. Entering the search for its milestone fifth “class,” Disney’s Dreamers Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire and fuel the dreams of teens, help them discover a world of possibilities and help them prepare for the future. Each year, 100 students – selected from thousands of applicants – experience notable personal and professional advancement. Students participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a bevy of career paths ranging from Animation to Zoology. Each participant learns important interview skills, communication techniques and networking strategies. It all takes place in an unusual and magical setting: The Walt Disney World theme parks. Both on stage and behind the scenes, the parks become vibrant ‘classrooms’ leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime. 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 four years, we have helped more than 400 Dreamers unlock their potential and get started on their journeys in life,” said Disney’s Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell. “The fifth Disney’s 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.” Participants and a parent or guardian will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., where they will engage in life-changing sessions and indulge in all of Disney’s magical theme parks. The 2012 Disney’s Dreamers Academy will take place March 8-11, 2012. Steve Harvey, syndicated radio personality, along with Essence Magazine and Walt Disney World Resort will host the selected Dreamers during their four-day power packed career and educational exploration. Harvey, speaking on the program, says, “Disney’s Dreamers Academy gives hope and inspiration and exposes youth to a world of possibilities. The fifth year of this program will prove to be the best yet. We are excited about another opportunity to transform lives and give students an inside look at what their future can hold.” Launched in 2007 by Disney Parks, Disney’s Dreamers Academy has evolved into a year-round initiative with its informational Facebook and Twitter social media platforms, an interactive website, presence at community-outreach-partner events like the Essence Music Festival, the National Association of Black Journalists Convention, the Bud Billiken Parade, and the addition of the recently formed Disney’s Dreamers Academy Speakers Resource Group, which consists of various Dreamers Academy event speakers and presenters who serve as program ambassadors. This year, Dreamers also had the chance to win internships, allowing them the chance to test skills learned at Disney’s Dreamers Academy. Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, “We are excited about the fifth Disney’s Dreamers Academy. This program transcends the normal classroom setting, taking learning to the next level. This year we plan to go above and beyond to encourage Dreamers. Our valued partnership with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey serves as a firm commitment to the community and leaders of tomorrow.” This fall, a distinguished panel of leaders from the communications, education and entertainment industries will judge all of the nomination submissions. Winners will be announced in early December.