Minnie Mouse welcomes sisters, China Anne McClain, star of the upcoming Disney Channel movie “Descendants 3,” Sierra McClain and Lauryn McClain at Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, during their visit to Walt Disney World Resort as a part of the 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. 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)

Teens from across America participated in a four-day transformational and hands-on, full-immersion workshops led by industry experts in a host of career paths at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The 100 young scholars were selected to participate in the 11th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence magazine.

A medical professional shows high school students surgical techniques during a hands-on medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

It was Houstonian and high school valedictorian Christina Okafor’s first-ever visit to Disney and she was “overwhelmed” to be selected to have the experience. To be able to hear from motivational speakers and celebrities is an amazing experience. I will take what I learned to pursue all my dreams,” she tells rolling out. Okafor has a special interest in the medical field, specifically, rheumatology to help those suffering from autoimmune diseases with no cure. She is applying to Harvard.

11th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy class of 100 (Todd Anderson, photographer)

Basking Ridge, N.J. high school student Sean Smith says he’s “learning a lot.”
An encounter with a real-life war hero inspired Smith to pursue a career in aviation. He attended an air show where Tuskegee Airman Eugene Robinson was a speaker. After the event, Robinson gave Smith the uniform hat off his head and signed it, which was especially motivating and “pretty cool” for Smith who says he doesn’t meet many people with the same level of interest in aviation that he has. That moment led Smith to follow in the footsteps of the Tuskegee Airmen and he has been taking flight lessons since sixth grade and is a member of his local aerospace club. “It’s the N85 Aerospace Club. We just received an airplane that we are going to [restore.]”

Joshua Hill, from Greensboro, N.C., learns engineering principles during an Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

Each year, motivational speakers and celebrities, including Steve Harvey, gospel singer Yolanda Adams and Celebrity Chef Jeff Henderson, share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and “DREAM BIG.”

coverage provided by Alonda Tucker and Ciara White-Sparks. They served as our on-site videographer and on-camera host, respectively.

Please check out the photo gallery below and video interviews of Okafor and Smith.

0308ZS_1008TA

High school students from North Carolina 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)

0308ZS_1018TA

High school students from Atlanta, Ga., 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)

0308ZS_1020TA

High school students from New Jersey 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)

0308ZS_1026TA

High school students from Washington, D.C., 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.

0308ZS_1029TA

High school students from North Carolina 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.

0308ZS_1051TA

(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)

0308ZS_1074TA

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)

0308ZS_1094TA

High school students from across the United States 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. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

0308ZS_1100TA

High school students from across the United States 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. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

0308ZS_1120TA

High school students from across the United States 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. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

image1
image2
image3

(Todd Anderson, photographer)

image4

(Todd Anderson, photographer)

image5

(Todd Anderson, photographer)

0311ZS_0463_GN

11th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy class of 100 (Todd Anderson, photographer)

0310ZS_0340_GN

L to R: Academy Award-nominated costume designer Ruth E. Carter participates in a Q&A hosted by ABC's "The View" co-host Sunny Hostin 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. (Gregg Newton, photographer)

0310ZS_0382_GN

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)

0310ZS_0572_GN

L to R: Disney Channel's China Anne McClaine, star of the upcoming movie, "Descendants 3," Sierra McClain, Lauryn McClain, and ABC's "Black-ish" stars Miles Brown and Marsai Martin pose with high school students Saturday, March 10, 2018, following 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. (Gregg Newton, photographer)

0310ZS_0642_GN

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)

0310ZS_1557TA

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)

0310ZS_1569TA

L to R: ABC's Black-ish stars Miles Brown and Marsai Martin; the McClain sisters, Lauryn, Sierra and Disney Channel's China Anne McClaine, star of the upcoming film, "Descendants 3;" and ABC's "The View" co-host Sunny Hostin 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)

0310ZS_1684TA

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)

0310ZS_1688TA

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)

0310ZS_1767TA

Pop star Ne-Yo and actor Jussie Smollett 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)

0310ZS_1796TA

Actor Jussie Smollett poses for selfies with high school students at Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine during 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. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

0310ZS_0194_GN

Star of upcoming Disney Channel original movie "Descendants 3" China Anne McClain shares 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)

0310ZS_0253_GN

ABC's "Black-ish" star Miles Brown 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. (Gregg Newton, photographer)

0309ZS_1336TA

Ta'Mya Woodard, of Atlanta, Ga., learns medical principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_1342TA

Roetha-Kijafa Hunter, of North Carolina, learns medical principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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

0309ZS_1355TA

Christiana Okafor, of Houston, Texas, learns medical principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_1362TA

Eamilia Barrington, of Orlando, Fla., learns nutritional principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_1374TA

Maria Gakdeng, of Washington D.C., learns medical principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_1381TA

Mariah Barnett, of Chicago, Ill., learns medical principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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

0309ZS_1390TA

A medical professional shows high school students surgical techniques during a hands-on medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_1406TA

Ashton Peoples, of Atlanta Ga., learns medical principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_1423TA

Tabitha Willis, of Chicago, Ill., learns medical principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_1439TA

2nd from Left: Jaterria Hicks, of Atlanta, Ga., learns medical principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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

0309ZS_1444TA

Jessica Dickerson, of Huntersville, N,C., learns nutritional principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_1452TA

Deka Bonner, of Atlanta, Ga., learns nutritional principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_1459TA

Q'Markis Brooks, of West Palm Beach, Fla., learns medical principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_1462TA

From L to R: Malachi Hobbs, from Orlando, Fla., and Sarah Schaefer from Washington D.C., learn nutrional principles during a medical workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_0034_GN

Mickey Mouse surprises students during a hands-on Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_0057_GN

Middle: Nina Crosby Walton from Washington, D.C., and Joshua Hill from Greensboro, N.C., learn engineering principles during an Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_0107_GN

High school students learn engineering principles during an Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_0112_GN

2nd from Right: Jackson Stewart, from West Palm Beach, Fla., and other students, learn engineering principles during an Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_0259_GN

From L to R: DeLon Henderson, from Atlanta, Ga., and Joshua Hill from Greensboro, N.C., learn engineering principles during an Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_0344_GN

From L to R: Giulietta Schutte, from Tampa, Fla. and DeLon Henderson, from Atlanta, Ga., learn engineering principles during an Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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,

0309ZS_0405_GN

High school students learn engineering principles during an Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_0426_GN

High school students learn engineering principles during an Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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, ph

0309ZS_0486_GN

Joshua Hill, from Greensboro, N.C., learns engineering principles during an Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

0309ZS_0509_GN

Jackson Stewart, from West Palm Beach Fla., learns engineering principles during an Imagineering and engineering workshop Friday, March 9, 2018, as part of Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Walt Disney World Resort 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)

Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.