Anne Ogunrinde has us excited about the 10th annual Disney Dreamers Academy

Anne Ogunrinde (Photo Credit: Sistarazzi for Steed Media Service)
Anne Ogunrinde (Photo credit: Sistarazzi for Steed Media Service)

It’s always a magical time at Disney. March 9-12, 2017, will be an especially exciting time. It marks the 10th anniversary of the Disney Dreamers Academy.

The Disney Dreamers Academy is a power-packed, four-day event held annually at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, in which 100 select high school students, 13-19, are inspired to dream big and get a jump-start on making those dreams come true. Students chosen to attend travel from every corner of the country to hear motivating speeches, participate in a series of sessions and workshops held within the magical setting of Walt Disney World Resort, virtually turning the theme parks into vibrant classrooms where Dreamers can imagine bright futures, make exciting discoveries and learn how to put their goals into action.

Meet Anne Ogunrinde, Disney’s marketing strategy manager for the African American segment, whom we had a chance to speak with recently at Disney Springs Marketplace. This year marks the first year Ogunrinde “owns Disney Dreamers Academy” and for her “all roads lead to Disney Dreamers Academy.”

What is your day-to-day like?
I start my day with a great team and working with partners to get things done. Disney is such a fun place to work.

What was your first job here?
Marketing manager. I managed Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center.

How long have you worked with Disney?
For a little over two years.

How excited are you about the opening of Disney Springs?
We are all pretty excited about Disney Springs. This is something we have been waiting a while to see. The shops and restaurants are amazing. There’s something for everyone.

What are the initiatives that you work on that focus on the African American market?
Our big focus is on connecting with the community. One of our big programs is Disney Dreamers Academy. Its focus is to empower the youth, at a critical time, while they are in high school. We are super excited about our 10th anniversary event coming up in March. At the end of the upcoming event, we will have graduated 1,000 students.

We also have events that are inclusive of African American communities. The Candlelight event welcomes speakers Whoopi Goldberg, Joe Morton and Anthony Mackie, and more. They will bring Christmas stories to life as narrators for the Epcot Candlelight Processional during December 7-9, 2016.

The Kwanzaa Celebration at Disney Springs starts on December 26, 2016.

What’s been planned for the Disney Dreamers Academy 10th anniversary?
We are reuniting with our partners Steve Harvey, Essence and our speakers group.

We have been following up with past participants and their stories of success and sharing with future dreamers.

Who’s your favorite Disney character?
Minnie Mouse … It’s all about her eyelashes.

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