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Applications Open for the 2015 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – April 25, 2014 – High school students nationwide can now apply at www.disneydreamersacademy.com to be among 100 selected to participate in the 2015 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine, the innovative, outside-the-classroom, educational mentoring program at Walt Disney World Resort.

Entering the search for its eighth class, Disney Dreamers Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire and fuel the dreams of teens, help them discover a world of possibilities and help them prepare for the future. Each year, students participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a bevy of career paths, ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies.

It all takes place in a magical setting: the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. Both on stage and behind the scenes, the parks become vibrant ‘classrooms,’ leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Motivational speakers and celebrities share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and DREAM BIG. Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives.

Applicants must answer three essay questions about their personal stories, the people who are most influential in their lives and their dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a combination of attributes, including a strong character, positive attitude and determination to achieve their dreams. Nearly 10,000 students submitted an application in 2014.

Participants and a parent or guardian will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., where they will engage in life-changing sessions and enjoy Disney’s magical theme parks. The 2015 Disney Dreamers Academy will take place March 5 to 8.

“Disney Dreamers Academy gives us the honor each year to motivate, educate and uplift 100 exceptional students ready to unlock their potential,” said Disney Vice President of Global Initiatives and Integrations/Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion, Tracey D. Powell. “Disney is proud to once again partner with Steve Harvey and Essence Communications to deliver a program that impacts lives every year.”

Steve Harvey, syndicated radio and television personality, along with ESSENCE Magazine and Walt Disney World Resort will host the selected Dreamers during their four-day power packed career and educational exploration. Harvey, speaking on the program, says, “Disney Dreamers Academy gives hope and inspiration and exposes youth to a world of possibilities. We are excited about another opportunity to transform lives and give students an inside look at what their future can hold.

ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, “We are excited about the eighth Disney Dreamers Academy. This program transcends the normal classroom setting, taking learning to the next level. This year we plan to go above and beyond to encourage Dreamers. Our valued partnership with Disney Parks and Steve Harvey represents our commitment to the leaders of tomorrow.”

Applications are open to U.S. high school students, ages 13 to 19, until Oct. 31, 2014. A distinguished panel of leaders representing the best in their fields will judge the applications in November and winners will be announced in December 2014.

For more information visit www.disneydreamersacademy.com, www.facebook.com/disneydreamersacademy or follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dreamersacademy.

Technology Summit Promotes Leadership Diversity in STEM Related Career Fields

multiracial students standing in a rowLocal Students to Gather at Harvey Mudd College for a Day of Learning and Mentorship from Top Technology Leaders. Academic Scholarships Sponsored by Southern California Edison 

POMONA, CA -Transcendence, an Inland Empire-based nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of under-served youth through collaborative endeavors, is pleased to announce the Inspire Technology Summit for high school students. Sponsored by Edison International, the Summit will take place Saturday, May 10 on the campus of Claremont’s prestigious Harvey Mudd College. The full-day Summit is designed to inspire the next generation of Information Technology leaders and to identify paths for increasing diversity in technology career fields.

“We have a tremendous responsibility to increase the numbers of women and minority groups in technology and math related careers,” said Michael D. Lacy, Board President for Transcendence. “We believe direct engagement between the youth in our community and technology leaders from the corporate world will be a catalyst to enhance opportunities for under-served students.”

Inspire is designed as an active response to data indicating that many minority groups and females are dramatically underrepresented in technology related fields and corresponding leadership positions. The summit will provide inspiration from leaders in technology roles, networking opportunities and resources necessary to excel in technology-driven careers. According to data compiled at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, in 2013 only 22 percent of  California students taking the Advanced Placement exam in computer science were girls, 1.5 percent were Black, and 8 percent were Hispanic.

Harvey Mudd College (HMC) a private, liberal arts institution of math, science and engineering is the appropriate setting for the leadership summit. HMC educates engineers, scientist and mathematicians to become leaders in their fields and have a clear understanding of the impact their work has on society.

“Diverse teams produce better solutions and given the importance of technology in solving the major problems facing the world, we especially need diversity in tech careers,” said Harvey Mudd President Maria Klawe in stating why promoting technology diversity is important to HMC.

Edison International partnered with Transcendence to be Inspire’s presenting sponsor. Their grant also provides financial scholarships to be awarded to several exception high school students.

“Edison International is proud to partner with Transcendence for the Inspire Technology Summit because our philosophy of giving is that all people should have opportunities to do well,” said Tammy Tumbling, director of Philanthropy & Community Investment for SCE.  “STEM education is a major focus for us because as an energy company, we recognize the skills needed for our future workforce and our country. For that reason, we partner with organizations that promote the inclusion of minority, low-income and underrepresented students in STEM fields.”

Students may register to attend the summit or apply for a scholarship by visitingwww.WeAreTranscendence.org or by calling (909) 300-5428.  The summit will start at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 4:00 p.m. on May 10.  All high school students are welcomed to participate. Minority students, female students, first generation college candidates, and students from local under-served communities are especially encouraged to attend.

 

 

 

Tony Award-Winner “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” Opening Night in Los Angeles

Alvin Crawford (center) and the cast of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin, book adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks and musical score adapted by Diedre L. Murray. Directed by Diane Paulus, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” previews at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre April 22 and opens April 23. Performances continue through June 1, 2014. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400.  Photo by Michael J. Lutch

Alvin Crawford (center) and the cast of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin, book adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks and musical score adapted by Diedre L. Murray. Directed by Diane Paulus, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” previews at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre April 22 and opens April 23. Performances continue through June 1, 2014. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400.
Photo by Michael J. Lutch

The Tony Award-winning musical “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” makes its  triumphant debut at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, opening Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. Performances continue through June 1, 2014. (Preview April 22.)

“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy  Heyward and Ira Gershwin, features one of Broadway’s most accomplished creative teams, led  by Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus (“Pippin,” “Hair”), Pulitzer Prize-winning
playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog/Underdog”), and two-time Obie Award-winning  composer Diedre L. Murray (“Running Man”).

The cast, which includes Nathaniel Stampley and Alicia Hall Moran as Porgy and Bess  (respectively), also features Alvin Crawford as Crown, Kingsley Leggs as Sporting Life, Sumayya Ali as Clara, Denisha Ballew as Serena, Danielle Lee Greaves as Mariah and David  Hughey as Jake.

In addition, the cast includes Dan Barnhill, Vanjah Boikai, Adrianna M. Cleveland, Roosevelt André Credit, Cicily Dainels, Dwelvan David, Nkrumah Gatling, Tamar Greene, Nicole Adell Johnson, James Earl Jones II, Quentin Oliver Lee, Cheryse McLeod Lewis,
Sarita Rachelle Lilly, Kent Overshown, Chauncey Packer, Lindsay Roberts, Fred Rose and  Soara-Joye Ross.

This new adaptation of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” was specifically created for Broadway and features a revised book in a musical theatre format and jazz-oriented musical arrangements. The classic story is set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theatre’s most exhilarating love stories. Based on DuBose Heyward’s novel “Porgy” and the play of the same name, which he co-wrote with his wife, Dorothy Heyward, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” includes such legendary songs such as “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and “I Got Plenty of
Nothing.”

The creative team also includes choreographer Ronald K. Brown, set designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer Esosa, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind, sound designer ACME Sound Partners, music supervisor Constantine Kitsopoulous and music director/conductor Dale Rieling.

The revival of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” had its world premiere at Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater during its 2011/12 season. The production moved to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway for a limited engagement with an official opening on January 12, 2012. “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” closed on September 23, 2012, after 322 performances, making it the longest running production of “Porgy and Bess” to ever play Broadway.

Tickets for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or in person at the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center.