Fifteen remarkable Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars, including three
from Lake County, were selected from more than 400 students in honor of their
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., April 26, 2019—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 Lake County.
The Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars from Lake County are:
- Jared Parker, 5th grade at Round Lake Charter School
Jared grew up with food sensitivities that restricted his diet. Being different from his peers encouraged Jared to stick up for those who stand out and for those who are treated differently just because of the way they were born. Jared is most passionate about raising awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and helping those going through treatments. Jared likes to support the cause by hosting lemonade stands and other events to raise money and help find a cure. He also makes surprise goodie bags to help spread a little joy for patients during their hospital visits.
- Melissa Saha, 6th grade at Tavares Middle School
Melissa joined a program at her school through which she mentors and supports students with disabilities. Despite their different abilities, the students could still learn, play, laugh and even dance together. Melissa realized that helping others can make them happy, and she’s passionate about changing the student perception around fellow students with disabilities. Melissa stands up for other students who are bullied and shows her fellow classmates how to accept and embrace the differences in others through her own actions.
- Aurelio Trajo, senior at Mount Dora High School
Aurelio’s teacher nominated him for the Disney Dreamers and Doers award because of his resiliency. Aurelio doesn’t let the personal challenges and difficulties he has faced throughout his life get in the way of giving back to his community. He has accumulated over 1,000 community service hours through his time spent volunteering, including founding and introducing a schoolwide educational program that introduces CPR training to every student and establishing Mount Dora’s first-ever Future Farmers of America (FFA) alumni association. He has also introduced a new concept at graduation in which every student receives a rose to hand off in thanks to a person who influenced their high school success. Aurelio always thinks of others before himself.
“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.
Contact: Molly McGranahan, Walt Disney World Communications