Black Girls Imagine Their Future With Help From Disney Dreamers Academy (2024)

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Black Girls Imagine Their Future With Help From Disney Dreamers Academy (1)

Source: KJ Edwards / KJ

Black girls are dreamers. Katanji Brown-Jackson was elected as the first Black Woman Supreme Court justice in 2022. This historic achievement makes Women’s History month hit a little different this year. Watching her ascend to the court was memorable, as a letter from her young daughter was read to the general assembly. Brown’s young daughter, Liela Jackson, wrote to then President Barack Obama imploring him to appoint Brown-Jackson to the Supreme Court.

Leila Jackson’s dream for her mother manifested itself and Brown-Jackson is now living history. Liela Jackson does not have to wonder about how far she is capable of going. She has seen up close what is attainable, Beyond that she has a team of distinguished parents that have the ability to point her in the right direction to help her attain her goals. If they so choose, they can open doors for her. Guidance and resources will be ready and waiting when Liela Jackson decides what dream she would like to pursue. The same cannot be said for all little Black girls.

When MADAMENOIRE heard of the Disney Dreamers Academy and how it served as a place to lift up marginalized youth,we had to know more.spoke with a handful of Black girl Dreamers to find out where they find resources and how the Disney Dreamer Academy is helping them walk through doors that may have once been invisible. Though the Disney Dreamer Academy accepts 100 students, between the ages of 13-16, yearly, MN is spotlighting five talented and intelligent young women with charisma and big dreams. The ladies spoke about their big dreams and how they access the resources to facilitate them. These young women may one day be living history.

Kirasten Perkins

Black Girls Imagine Their Future With Help From Disney Dreamers Academy (2)

Source: KJ Edwards / KJ

You are from Savannah, Georgia. How did you get here?

I am in a program called Top Teens of America and they assign us mentors. My mentor sent me the email for the Dreamers Academy. I was so excited it looked like such a good program. I decided to apply.

Beyond your mentors, how do you find resources to help facilitate your growth?

A lot of research. I know there are a lot of scholarships for underrepresented minorities, so I am constantly looking into those.

Your dream is to own your own medical practice. What would be your focus?

Trauma surgery. I’ve traveled abroad to Africa. I want to help there as well. There is llack of medical resources. When I create my own medical practice I really want to offer resources to like places over there.

March is Women’s History Month. Is there a woman that inspired you?

I would say my mother, because she’s a role model. She works with kids when kids don’t have the types of parents that support them and she encourages them.

Jaylynn Powe

Black Girls Imagine Their Future With Help From Disney Dreamers Academy (3)

Source: KJ Edwards / KJ

Many Dreamers are her for STEM, but you’re an artsy girl. What is your career Dream?

I love me some anime so I think that’s what really led me into animation. There’s only a few Black women that work in that industry. I want to be one of those people to show little Black girls, hey you can do this. At first I was discouraged, but when I saw people like Frankie Brexit, I knew I could do this.

What does the road to being a Dreamer look like? How did you find out about this opportunity?

OK crazy! My cousin used to work for Disney and she told me about Disney On the Yard. Webcam to visit and that’s where I learned about the Disney Dreamers Academy program. I started the application and I was like ooh that’s a lot of writing

How much writing?

It was like three or four essays. I had to take a lot of brain breaks. I was going through it, because writing is not my thing, but I typed them up and was accepted.

How do you find resources to propel yourself further?

In Louisiana there are not a lot of people like me, into the arts. I use social media. I get on Linkedin where I was able to meet this other Black female artist and I just networked.I asked, can i sit down and talk with you?

You also create and sell physical art. What’s your focus?

My focus is caricature and Black women. My work is just a big love letter to Black women. That’s where my heart is.

Women’s History Month is here, is there any woman in particular that has inspired you and informed your path?

My mom to be honest. Oh my Gosh, dude, she is such a strong woman and I really look up to her. Even when she’s down she always finds a way to help somebody else. She’s just so encouraging and inspiring and I love her. She just keeps on pushing whenever she’s down. I wanna do the exact same thing

Shout her out!

Her name is Jamy! I just really look up to her

Eliora Margaret Kwakye

Black Girls Imagine Their Future With Help From Disney Dreamers Academy (4)

Source: KJ Edwards / KJ

You play guitar, violin, piano, when did you learn how to play any of those let alone all of them?

I began playing piano when I was 7 or 8 years-old. I started guitar during COVID. I’d say that’s my best instrument. I have 3-4 guitars including a ukulele, bass, acoustic, and electric guitar. Last February I started playing the violin just for fun.

Your career goals veer away from the arts, You want to be an organizational psychologist?

Yes, they help in the workplace. They make sure everyone’s relationships with each other are smooth and the workplace is healthy. I can also see myself as a child psychologist or a psych professor. I am obsessed with anything that has to do with the mind.

Do you have a mentor?

My older brother he’s just always been inspiring to me. He majored in psych and graduated in three years. It’s nerve wracking, because like now I have to do as well as him. He’s inspiring, because he was able to do all that it makes me think I can achieve all that too.

Resources are not readily available, where do you find them?

I normally just look for them you know like I can’t really wait around for resources to come to me I have to go to them.

How did you find out about the Disney Dreamers Academy

I found this I was actually looking for internships like psychology related internships this kind of popped up as an ad.

It’s a really selective program, but I went for it. I just wrote about my experiences. I live in a predominantly white town, so I’ve dealt with a lot of racism. I wrote about that and other experiences and hoped for the best.

March is Women’s History Month. Is there a woman that inspired you?

Amanda Gorman I saw her in inauguration speech in like 2020 and like I don’t know she’s just always been like inspiring to me and like I guess kind of like a big sister in a way like I just love how she’s been so like successful I own her book call us what we carry it’s this amazing book I love it so much I’ve read it so many times

Aria Smith

Black Girls Imagine Their Future With Help From Disney Dreamers Academy (5)

Source: KJ Edwards / KJ

You struggle with ADHD, how do you navigate being excellent at so many things and having an invisible disability?

I bake. I mix my ingredients by hand to relieve stress and get anger out. Being in the kitchen is where I feel most calm.

How did you find out about the Disney Dreamers Academy?

Well, I participated in a First Tee golf event. A friend there is also a dreamer at the Disney academy. She told me and my parents about it.

Your ultimate goal is to be a culinary artist, how do you find resources to help you towards that goal? Do you think becoming a Dreamer is going to help you gain more access to resources?

My parents are in the Military.they’ve made so many friends around the world. Friends that retire and go into multiple fields. One of those friends has a daughter who is a baker. She’s given some really good advice. I also spent last summer taking classes at Johnson and Wales Culinary school.

How did you find out about that opportunity?

I signed up for emails from the campus.

What type of advantage do you believe you will gain from attending the academy?

There are so many professionals here. There are pastry chefs and I’m hoping to land an internship while I’m here. Which will help me further my goal of one day opening my own shop.

Is there any woman living or gone that has inspired you as you’ve progressed?

Carla Hall. She is the first black woman on the Food Network. Watching her excel in the field I want to go into.

Nia Curry

Black Girls Imagine Their Future With Help From Disney Dreamers Academy (6)

Source: KJ Edwards / KJ

What are you hoping to gain by being a Dreamer?

I really wanna just gain a lot more confidence. I want to work on being able to speak up. I think Being a Dreamer will help me build confidence and be more inspired. Dream bigger dreams.

Have you dreamed bigger dreams?

I really like dreamed to be an orthopedic surgeon but as a recently I’ve been really interested in like law and maybe becoming a lawyer and that’s like the biggest thing I have so far the lawyer

Do you have a mentor?

I do not have a mentor but I really want to like shadow someone or like find someone pretty soon

So, shadowing and finding a mentor, How do you go about finding the resources to make these things happen?

You just have to reach out. Look things up and go the extra mile . Find what you want if you want something really bad you’re going to like kind of fight for it. Put a little bit of effort

Is that how you became a Dreamer?

My mom actually told me about it and then I kind of like looked into it and I found it to be really interesting

How do you think being a Dreamer will help you grow besides building that confidence you were speaking about?

During group activities I tried so hard to like speak and just face my fears. My group members helped me, so I am also building connections

Women’s History Month, what woman has inspired you?

She just came here! Haile Bailey and Yara Shahidi, they’re so inspiring. like the both of them and the way they just speak out to what they believe in on their like social media platforms .

RELATED CONTENT:Kelly Rowland Makes Time For Mentorship With Black Students From Disney Dreamers Academy

Black Girls Imagine Their Future With Help From Disney Dreamers Academy (2024)
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