Polk County students recognized as Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars

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

Fifteen remarkable Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars, including three
from Polk County, were selected from more than 400 students in honor of 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.


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 Polk County.


The Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars from Polk County are:


  • Abbi Dicks, 5th grade at Brigham Academy
    Abbi loves animals and one day would like to be a veterinarian. She recently organized a supply drive for the Humane Society of Winter Park, and collected food, supplies and toys for animals in need. Since two of her own pets came from the same shelter, it’s Abbi’s goal to make sure all animals receive the same amount of love that hers do. She encouraged her entire school to help donate to the cause and was able to collect several boxes worth for the organization. Through this experience, she learned how much of a difference a person can make in the community.
  • Malachi Gustave, 7th grade at Westwood Middle School
    Despite Malachi’s own family struggles, he is an active member in an outreach program offered by his school that helps at-risk students in his neighborhood. Malachi was nominated for the Disney Dreamers and Doers award by his counselor, who is impressed each and every day by his determination to support those around him. Malachi gives up his time after school to help other kids who come through the outreach program, teaching them the importance of teamwork, encouragement, and sharing. He never seeks gratitude for his actions and is always eager to help.
  • Brianna Rowell, senior at Fort Meade Middle-Senior High School
    Brianna is the president of her school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) youth organization and helped to orchestrate a food drive with a local organization that sends a backpack of food home each weekend for students who need food assistance. She advertised the opportunity at her school and encouraged other students to participate. Brianna collected more than 230 food items for backpacks. She is currently working on a project to turn her school’s gardens into a resource to grow vegetables for students in need and is looking forward to continuing her passion for volunteerism in college.


“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

(407) 537-4419