Released By Walt Disney World Resort
Fifteen remarkable local students from around Central Florida are the next generation of Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars in recognition of their strong character, inspiring actions, and willingness to help others.
First established in 1984, the Disney Dreamers and Doers program recognizes young people who demonstrate excellence in school, at home, and in the community. This year, more than 400 students in Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole counties were chosen by their school principals as Disney Dreamers and Doers for consistently and uniquely demonstrating their compassion, empathy and creativity. In addition to commemorative keepsake items, Disney Dreamers and Doers also each receive four complimentary theme park tickets to visit Walt Disney World Resort.
From the more than 400 Disney Dreamers and Doers of 2019, 15 exceptional Shining Stars were selected as the best of the best for truly showcasing what it means to both “dream” and “do,” including three outstanding students from Osceola County.
The Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars from Osceola County are:
· Nahima Correa Lopez, 3rd grade at East Lake Elementary School – Nominated by her teacher and this year’s youngest Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Star, Nahima is best known at her school for her bright smile. She always puts in 110% effort, no matter how difficult or challenging the task is. Despites personal hardships, Nahima brings a positive attitude to school each and every day. She is the first to offer to help to other students or to let others borrow her school supplies when they need it. She cares about keeping her classroom clean for her fellow classmates and knows the importance of good manners.
· Geraldine Mejias, 8th grade at Denn John Middle School – Geraldine’s mission is to always pay it forward. Her family has overcome challenges that have inspired Geraldine to help other students who are experiencing homelessness and hunger. Geraldine led the effort to raise money for a food panty at her school that has since helped more than 30 families. She also likes to volunteer for school events with the Families in Transition program, a program designed to help families in need. Through this volunteerism, Geraldine has helped create food baskets and encouraged her fellow students to donate to her school’s food pantry
· Paris Vargas, senior at New Dimensions High School – When Paris’ family went through a challenging time, she assumed a leadership role in her household while continuing to balance her academics. Through this experience, Paris also learned about the importance of personal health, started her own weight loss journey and encouraged those around her to live a healthier lifestyle. She also learned CPR, helped to maintain the cleanliness of the house and helped her mom pay bills. Despite these challenges, Paris was also dually enrolled at Valencia College and earned a place on the President’s List. Paris believes there is always a way to do your personal best, no matter how many barriers exist.
“These incredible students are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Rena Langley, senior vice president of Public Affairs for Walt Disney World Resort. “Their inspiring actions, both individually and collectively, are shaping the future of our Central Florida community.”
Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars receive a Walt Disney World Resort Annual Pass for themselves and each member of their immediate family, a special Mickey Mouse statue known as a “Mousecar” and a gold medallion commemorating their honor. Their school also receives ten Walt Disney World Resort One-Day Park Hopper tickets. To further celebrate their incredible achievements, the students and their families will be treated to a celebratory summer night at Epcot, complete with a dessert party and special fireworks viewing.
The Disney Dreamers and Doers program is just one of the ways Walt Disney World Resort actively supports youth development and education in the Central Florida community. Since its inception 35 years ago, nearly 14,500 local students have received this special honor in recognition of their character and exceptional achievements. In the past year, Disney also provided grants for local school districts and early learning coalitions. In addition, Cast Members donated more than $200,000 worth of back-to-school supplies benefiting more than 70,000 local students to schools in all five counties.