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D.C.-Area Students 'Dream' Big with Steve Harvey, Disney Academy

Dorothy Rowley | 2/14/2014, 3:23 p.m.
Courtesy of Disney Dreamers Academy

Brianna Dingle, a 16-year-old student from D.C., aspires to host her own talk show. Seventeen-year-old Crystal Onwu of Upper Marlboro, Md., is pursuing a career in medicine, while Alexandria, Va., resident Joshua Reed, 16, has plans on creating a hugely successful cartoon series.

As members of the Class of 2014 Disney Dreamers Academy, all three are well on their way to reaching their potential and discovering the power of dreaming big.

Briana, Crystal and Joshua are among 100 teens selected from a pool of 10,000 applicants for this year's Academy, which is hosted in conjunction with TV and radio show host Steve Harvey and Essence magazine.

Harvey said that that the program not only gives the teens hope and inspiration, it also exposes them to a world of possibilities.

"We are excited about another opportunity to transform lives and give students an inside look at what their future can hold," he said.

The aspiring youth will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., in March for a four-day educational program, as well as some fun at the popular theme park.

"Over the past six years, we have helped 600 Dreamers unlock their potential and get started on their journeys in life," said Tracey Powell, Disney Dreamers Academy executive. "The seventh Disney 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."

Briana, who recently began an internship with a local radio program, said she also plans to dabble in acting and modeling while "devoting time to my charity foundation for kids with cancer."

While Crystal highlights her "vehemence for science" with plans to major in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Pittsburgh, Joshua stresses the importance of perseverance, saying, "although something may seem difficult in the present, if you press through you will find future success."