By Annette Gibbs, Public Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort
During the quarantine, Disney has launched #DisneyMagicMoments on the Disney Parks Blog to share stories that stir the imagination, inspire the heart and provide some fun.
For Mother’s Day, Walt Disney World has featured the stories of two Disney Dreamers Academy alumni and the special relationship they have with their moms on Disney Parks Blog. The students are Casey Carter of Columbia, SC (DDA Class of 2018) and Anthony Juba-Richardson of the Orlando, Fla. area (DDA Class of 2019).
Their close bonds with their mothers has been instrumental in their success stories.
No Challenge Too Big
As soon as Casey, a 2018 Disney Dreamer Academy participant, was born she faced big obstacles. Three months premature, she immediately dealt with serious medical issues. As she achieved positive milestones during her infancy, Tara knew Casey was born with a fighting spirit.
Tara fostered that spirit, ensuring Casey never felt she had any limitations on what she could achieve.
So, years later, it was no surprise to Tara when Casey presented her with an ambitious high school science fair project idea. Casey wanted to tackle one of sport’s most prevailing health issues – concussions in football players. Tara committed to provide Casey whatever she needed to make the project a success.
“We are a mother and a daughter, but she’s also my best friend,” said Tara. “Casey is one of the most honest, compassionate, creative and intelligent people. You couldn’t ask for a better human being.”
Teaming Up to Help Others
Anthony was voted Disney Dreamer of the Year at the 2019 Disney Dreamers Academy, thanks to his big personality and kind heart.
The moment caught him by surprise, but not his mother, Donar Juba-Johnson.
Since he was a child, Donar nurtured Anthony’s giving spirit and witnessed the impact it had on others.
As a teen, Anthony was inspired to help the elderly and went to Donar with an idea. Together they made and donated blankets to nursing homes, and when Anthony realized he could use his musical talents to help dementia patients, they incorporated this unique aspect into their mission. Ultimately, they co-founded the non-profit organization, One Beat Away, where they do everything as a team.
“I wanted my children to grow up in a world knowing that it’s not just about them,” said Donar. “The work they do matters. Even if one life is changed, that’s all that really matters.”
Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE is a four-day, transformational mentoring program for 100 teens that takes place annually at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Teens are encouraged to “Be100”, to be positive and “all in,” and to pursue their dreams and make a difference in the lives of others.
Keep in touch via the following Disney Dreamers Academy social media pages:
@DisneyDreamersAcademy (Facebook & Instagram)