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McKinney's Athena Buress learns about medical careers at Disney Dreamers Academy. Athena was selected along with three other Dallas-area teens for this career-inspiring program.

Since my family and I are regular visitors to Walt Disney World Resortwe know that it is magical place where dreams come true.

That’s why it was such a treat to see a special dream become a reality for three kids from my hometown who were selected among 100 deserving teens across the country at Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence March 3-6.

Athena Buress, Kenedi McCormick and Jarielle Nabors, all from the suburban Dallas area, were selected out of thousands of applicants and received an all-expense-paid trip to attend the academy with their parent or guardian.

The girls experienced a once-in-a-lifetime educational and mentoring program designed to inspire them to dream big and discover the world of possibilities that will help prepare for their future.

While at Epcot’s World Showplace, I had a chance to catch up with these these accomplished Dallas teens to find out more about their personal hopes and dreams.


Athena Buress (McKinney, Texas) is a freshman at Ursuline Academy of Dallas where she is part of the school’s swim.  She’s involved in the YMCA Youth and Government program and she’s also a member of Drama and the Refugee Awareness Club.

Athena, along with a couple of her friends, started a charity called The Sunshine Girls.  The group is working with a children's hospital to make art baggies for children in the hospital. She hopes to attend Harvard and pursue a medical degree.  Athena’s dream is to become a neurosurgeon when she grows up and volunteer for Doctors Without Borders.

Kenedi McCormick (Plano, Texas) recently moved to North Dallas and she plans to make a tremendous impact on numerous aspects of the world through broadcast journalism.  After visiting with Kenedi, I learned that she’s not only passionate about journalism but also performing arts.  Kenedi says that anything can be accomplished with true commitment and perseverance.

Jarielle Nabors (Mesquite, Texas) is a senior at John Horn High School where she will graduate with honors and she’s a member of the National Honor Society.  Jarielle is involved in numerous organizations in and outside of school including the Junior World Affairs Council, Speech and Debate Club and the Carver Heights Angelic Choir.

Jarielle’s plans are to become a philanthropist so that she can give back to her community and inspire other young adults to excel.

During their four-day stay, the girls were involved with mentoring programs where they had the chance to speak and learn from leaders in their respective fields through interactive workshops and seminars.

I tagged along with the Dallas Dreamers as they went on their “Deep Dives” with Disney professionals and experts at Disney University and throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

This gave me a chance to take a look through their eyes as they explored variety of careers ranging from journalism to medicine.

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