Berthoud teen accepted to Disney Dreamers Academy
By Amber McIver-Traywick
Berthoud resident Micah Norton was recently selected to attend the Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, a joint venture between Disney, Steve Harvey Network and Essence Magazine. Norton is one of 100 high schoolers from across the country chosen, from thousands of applicants, to attend the all-expenses-paid mentoring program from March 12-15.
Norton is a senior this year at Mountain View High School in Loveland, and lives with his mom Nicole and stepdad Dan in Berthoud. On top of his busy school schedule that has included 4 college-level classes, Norton has worked at Berthoud’s A&W for the past two years. Mom Nicole said, “his hard work was part of what won over the judges in the essay contest,” one of several steps students go through to be selected for the prestigious opportunity.
The program is intended to help the next generation of young people by inspiring them at a critical time in their development, according to a press release from Walt Disney World. Founded in 2008, participants attend the four-day immersive event and get the opportunity to hear presentations from a wide variety of professionals including entrepreneurs and leaders in various fields to Disney Cast Members and celebrities. Students are able to participate in hands-on career development activities while networking and learning interview skills.
Past celebrity participants have included singer NE-YO, NBA legend and business mogul Magic Johnson, the star of the Disney’s upcoming live-action “Little Mermaid” Halle Bailey and gospel music singer Yolanda Adams.
Aspiring Disney Dreamers are required to submit an application that includes an essay about someone they consider a hero. Norton wrote his about actor Leonardo DiCaprio and his efforts to protect the environment. Attributes the selection panel look for in participants include intellectual curiosity, compassion, courage in the face of obstacles, a positive outlook and a generous spirit and optimism about the future.
After applying two years ago and not being accepted, Nicole encouraged her son to try again in December of last year. Norton said the day his acceptance package arrived his mom knew it would be arriving but played it cool to see her son’s reactions, “I forgot I applied for it, I didn’t think I’d get it. When I grabbed the package to open it she was acting all nonchalant, I read through it and told her I got in, she had a super-wide smile, I was happy.”
Norton said he has an interest in becoming a screenwriter or director someday and will participate in the Dreamer events with that focus, “My initial thought was I have always been interested in movies and I excelled in English and literature that can be applied to movies…I chose all the ones that were film-related hoping that I would get more experience in that industry.”
Of course, you can’t be at Disney World without enjoying the theme parks which the student will also get to do as well as take behind the scenes tours to see how the magic happens.
When asked what he was looking forward to the most Norton said, “I think it’s going to be really fascinating to meet the other people in the group and make that connection.”
Applications for the Disney Dreamers program are accepted from March 21 until Oct. 31 for more information visit disneydreamersacademy.com.
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