Disney selects 15 Shining Stars for truly showcasing what it means to both “dream” and “do”
As one fifth grader was walking to lunch, she noticed her school’s cafeteria helpers sitting on a curb to eat their own lunches. Right then, she decided she would host a fundraiser to raise money to buy them a table of their own. An eighth grader, who was born premature, speaks to parents and families of premature newborns at local hospitals to let them know everything is going to be okay. Another student left Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria, and now helps other evacuee students learn English and become more comfortable in their new community.
These three students are among this year’s Disney Dreamers and Doers who stood out because of their willingness to go above and beyond to share their extraordinary character with the world around them.
“These Shining Stars are a reminder of the incredible impact an individual can have on their own little corner of the world,” said Rena Langley, senior vice president of Public Affairs for Walt Disney World Resort. “These students may be some of the youngest members of our community today, but their big hearts, kind words and inspiring actions are the future of our community.”
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, nearly 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. From this year’s Dreamers and Doers, 15 Shining Stars were selected as the best of the best for truly showcasing what it means to both “dream” and “do.”
The 2018 Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars from Lake County are:
Presli Sickels—Sawgrass Bay Elementary, 4th grade
Presli’s goal is to color the world with kindness—and her first step was founding Kindness Kids, a project focused on distributing crayons, coloring books, umbrellas, toothbrushes and more to those in need. It all began with her $39 from her own savings that Presli used to kick-start her project. Once peers, teachers, and the community heard of her plans they began to donate to her cause. Every Saturday, Presli can be found in a community parking lot passing out items, and she’s exceptionally proud of the more than 100 people she has helped so far. Her next goal? Reach more than 1,000 people.
Samantha Sapp—Lake Preparatory, 8th grade
Samantha has positive role models in her life who have taught her the importance of helping others. As a result, she is inspired to both perform community service and help others in her class excel academically. From collecting food items and cleaning up after Hurricane Irma to handing out gifts to foster children during the holiday season, Samantha’s acts of kindness have encouraged others to engage in their own community outreach and be of service to others. Samantha hopes to continue her dreams of academic excellence and making a difference in the community by always projecting positive energy and a smile into everything she does.
Jasmine Ramjeet, Leesburg High School, 11th grade (pictured)
When Jasmine discovered there was a regional blood shortage after the Pulse Nightclub tragedy in 2016, she sprang into action. She immediately began an effort to increase the number of donors, and has since influenced more than 730 blood donations, which have the potential to save 2,190 lives. As part of the Air Force JROTC program at Leesburg High School, Jasmine banded with other cadets to promote future drives and make sure donors who attended the drives were comfortable and confident before donating blood. Jasmine knows that every successful donation is saving lives in her community. Her efforts encourage others to be generous and selfless.
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 matching gold medallion commemorating their honor. To further celebrate their incredible achievements, the students and their families will be treated to an Incredible 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, more than 14,000 local students have received this special honor in recognition of their character and exceptional achievements. In the past year, Disney 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.