Tips on Being a Dreamer all Parents and Children Should Know #ddaDisney

This past weekend, attending the Disney Dreamers Academy was truly magical. I really think I have taken away enough information and observations in order to write about this event for the rest of the year. It really was that good. The fact that Disney, Steve Harvey, Essence Communications and all the other speakers/mentors involved come together every year to pour into the youth is truly inspiring. And yes, while this program is for high school students ages 13-18, we parents and members of the media also get poured into, mentored and inspired.

I will be releasing official recaps, interviews and overall lessons learned at the Disney Dreamers Academy (DDA) over the next few weeks. But I really wanted to share one over-arching message that I took away from this powerful weekend: all success starts with a dream.

Since its inception nine years ago, thousands of students compete for participation in the DDA program by submitting an application and answers to a series of essay questions about their personal stories, the people who are most influential in their lives and their dreams for the future. Approximately 100 participants are selected each year by a panel of judges.

Also related: Moms ‘N Charge is Going to Disney!

Steve Harvey reminded each dreamer that they were not there just because they wrote an excellent essay, but because God chose them to be there. I think often times, we look to validation from others: whether it’s from opportnities like DDA, accolades, hi-fives, degrees, or even our parents or children etc. But being a dreamer starts inside of you. One thing Mr. Harvey pointed out is that education is a great thing. But if your gifts and dreams don’t align with the education you’re pursuing, you’ll be unhappy and unfulfilled.

Being a Dreamer allows you to walk in your God-given purpose. Here are a few tips on being a Dreamer that I took away from this past weekend:

  • Being a dreamer starts inside of you (you have what it takes), not at Disney
  • Anyone can get an education, but if it’s not tied to your dreams, you will not find joy
  • The bible says: Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).
  • Your dreams and your gifts will make room for you
  • Being a dreamer allows you to focus on what’s important
  • You don’t have to believe in the dream in order to support it
  • It takes courage and commitment to pursue your dream
  • Your dreams are your own: don’t try to push them on to your children, or children onto your parents
  • Focus on the what and allow God to reveal the how
Disney Dreamer Doryan McCallum of Charlotte, NC. weeps alongside Melissa Colvert during the commencement ceremony for the class of 2016 of Disney Dreamers Academy at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., March 6, 2016. Epcot is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney Dreamer Doryan McCallum of Charlotte, NC. weeps alongside Melissa Colvert during the commencement ceremony for the class of 2016 of Disney Dreamers Academy at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., March 6, 2016. Epcot is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort.

There was not a dry eye in the room by the time they got to the end of the commencement ceremony yesterday. This weekend revealed some new dreams for me, as well as ignited some that I had put aside because I didn’t feel like I had everything I needed. Stay tuned for more DDA updates.

Comment below and let me know: what is the best advice you’ve ever received as it relates to pursuing and going after your dreams?


This visit to the Disney Dreamers Academy was sponsored by Walt Disney World. As always, the thoughts and opinions are my own.  For more information about Disney Dreamers Academy CLICK HERE

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Rani
    March 7, 2016 at 5:34 PM

    This is so wonderful! Nearly brings tears to my eyes. Anything positive that involves the youth is such a powerful thing. What an honor to be invited, to witness such moments, and to take away those huge lessons in dreaming. I can’t wait to read more, especially the interviews! 🙂
    Rani would like you to check out…Happy Holidays + Survey Says: A Few Questions for You!My Profile

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      March 8, 2016 at 9:47 AM

      Thanks Rani. It was truly an honor to witness this life-changing event. Thanks for tuning in as I can’t wait to share more!

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    Melissa Calvert
    March 19, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Hello speaking as the crying parent in the picture with my son, Doryan, ☺I must say the Disney Dreamer’s Academy is a life changing program if you take what was offered and apply it. I am very grateful that my son was chosen to attend.

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      March 20, 2016 at 5:41 PM

      Awww thanks for stopping by Melissa! This was one of my favorite photos because it truly captured the moment. Application is definitely key 🙂

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