Local students named as next generation of Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars

Filed in: About WDW, Beyond the Theme Parks, Making a Difference

Fifteen remarkable Shining Stars were selected from more than 400 Disney
Dreamers and Doers for their extraordinary achievements.

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.

One is a student who is passionate about transforming her school’s gardens into a resource to growing healthy vegetables for students who face hunger, while another took it upon herself to learn American Sign Language after learning her best friend was experiencing hearing loss. One student has accumulated over 1,000 volunteer hours in his support of the Central Florida community, while another helps families experiencing the loss of a child grieve. This is a small sample of the incredible achievements of this year’s Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars.

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.”

The 2019 Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars are:

Lake County:

  • Jared Parker, 5th grade at Round Lake Charter School
    Jared is known at his school for sticking up for others, and is also passionate about raising awareness of Cystic Fibrosis by hosting lemonade stands to raise money for the cause.
  • Melissa Saha, 6th grade at Tavares Middle School
    Melissa loves participating in a program at her school through which she mentors and supports students with disabilities and shares her passion for encouraging others to accept and embrace the differences in others.
  • Aurelio Trajo, senior at Mount Dora High School
    Despite personal challenges, Aurelio has shown resiliency through his demonstrated leadership and giving back to those who need it most.

Orange County

  • Dina Elmoulakate, 5th grade at Southwood Elementary School
    When Dina’s best friend lost her hearing, Dina took it upon herself to learn American Sign Language and practice each and every day so she could still communicate with her.
  • Jamauri Sands, 8th grade at Carver Middle School
    Jamauri started a food pantry at his school to help his fellow students who experience hunger, including staffing the pantry during his weekly elective periods and sending home weekend bags of food to those who need it.
  • Samuel Pilon, junior at Apopka High School
    Due to a personal hardship he and his family experienced, Samuel has been dedicated to helping other families through their own grief, including developing memorials for families who have lost a child and raising money to help them pay for the emotional support they need.

Osceola County

  • Nahima Correa Lopez, 3rd grade at East Lake Elementary School
    Despite personal hardships, Nahima is best known her smile and can-do attitude. She is the first to offer help to her fellow students in need and is also this year’s youngest Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Star.
  • Geraldine Mejias, 8th grade at Denn John Middle School
    Inspired by her own personal challenges, Geraldine is passionate about helping students and families who may be experiencing homelessness or hunger. She has raised funds for a food pantry at her school and encouraged her fellow students to support the cause.
  • 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 balancing her academics, helping her community and learning more about healthy lifestyles.

Polk County

  • Abbi Dicks, 5th grade at Brigham Academy
    An avid animal lover, Abbi decided to organize a supply drive for the Humane Society of Winter Park and encouraged her classmates to donate to the cause. She collected boxes worth of food and supplies for the organization.
  • Malachi Gustave, 7th grade at Westwood Middle School
    Malachi is an active student member of a program at his school that helps to provide youth with encouragement and opportunity despite personal hardships they may be experiencing.
  • Brianna Rowell, senior at Fort Meade Middle-Senior High School
    As president of her school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) organization, Brianna organized a food drive to ensure kids experiencing hunger had food over the weekend. She is also working to transform her school’s gardens into a resource to grow vegetables for students in need.

Seminole County

  • Adyson Grondwalski, 5th grade at Bear Lake Elementary School
    Adyson demonstrates a caring spirit both at home and in the community, helping to take care of her younger siblings and creating handmade encouragement cards for patients in local hospitals.
  • Megan Dathe, 8th grade at Lawton Chiles Middle School
    Megan is committed to helping those experiencing homelessness and hunger, including raising money to bring meals to her school’s food pantry and creating blessing and birthday bags for those in need.
  • Ruth Morales, senior at Crooms Academy of Informational Technology
    Despite several challenges Ruth faced in her past, she is focused on inspiring and helping others through her actions, including developing an app that helps students learn how to use a computer.

“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, and 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. 

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Contact:        Molly McGranahan, Walt Disney World Communications

(407) 934-7154
molly.k.mcgranahan@disney.com