LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – April 26, 2017 – In 1984, Edith Bradshaw was a senior at Apopka High School in Orange County. Her leadership and responsibility characteristics helped put her among the first 159 Central Florida students named in the inaugural class of Disney Dreamers and Doers, celebrating elementary, middle and high school students in Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole counties who take action to improve their school, community or home.
Fast forward more than 30 years later. Today Edith Bradshaw Bentley is a music teacher and the band director at Trinity Christian School, also in Orange County. During her career, she has nominated numerous students who also have been named Disney Dreamers and Doers. This year one of her eighth-grade students, Trey Hibbard, is the latest to follow in her footsteps, chosen as one of nearly 375 students in the 2017 class of Disney Dreamers and Doers.
“Being the first Dreamer and Doer from Apopka High School was a BIG deal to me. I still have my certificate and medal hanging on my wall next to my diplomas!” Bentley said. “I am always thrilled when one of my students is selected to represent our school. What an honor!”
Trey and Bentley are part of an esteemed group of almost 14,000 Central Floridians honored as Disney Dreamers and Doers since this program began 34 years ago. Each Dreamer and Doer receives an award medallion, honorary certificate and complimentary Walt Disney World theme park tickets.
“Nothing makes us happier than recognizing these exemplary young people who care deeply, keep an open mind and make a difference in their own corner of the planet,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of corporate citizenship for Walt Disney World Resort.”
Disney also has distinguished 15 Dreamers and Doers (three per each county) as Shining Stars, representing the exceptional character and kindness from among the group. This year’s Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars are:
• Velouria Whitford, Eustis Heights Elementary School, 3rd grade
• Jake DeChick, Windy Hill Middle School, 8th grade
• Abigail Lawson, Tavares High School, 12th grade
• Brock Heston, Lake Sybelia Elementary School, 5th grade
• Asia Almarales, Lake Nona Middle School, 8th grade
• Gabriela Mafuz, Cornerstone Charter High School, 12th grade
• Keenan Lewis, Chestnut Elementary School for Science & Engineering, 5th grade
• Michael Yun, Narcoossee Middle School, 8th grade
• Trinity Gibbs, Osceola High School, 12th grade
• Lydia Pierce, Cleveland Court Elementary School, 3rd grade
• Josefina Villegas, South McKeel Academy – Middle, 7th grade
• Abigail Callejas-Mejia, Mulberry Senior High School, 9th grade
• Braedan Lambe, Lake Orienta Elementary School, 5th grade
• Kayce Jensen, Teague Middle School, 7th grade
• Dane Dunnavan, The Geneva School – High School, 12th grade
On June 10, the Shining Stars and their immediate family members will attend a special event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. These award-winning students will receive a Mickey Mouse statue known as a “Mousecar,” along with a gold medallion and other special mementos.
In addition to supporting educational efforts through the Disney Dreamers and Doers program, Disney also collaborates with other education programs in Central Florida. It is the largest contributor of back-to-school supplies to A Gift for Teaching, which benefits more than 100,000 students in schools in Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole counties.