Just like the Super Bowl, they’re going to Disney World.
Charlotte teens Chauncey Davidson and Clarke Mingo have been chosen and will attend the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine this week.
“It is such an honor. I’m just like, ‘Oh my gosh, I was actually chosen,’ ” said Clarke, a senior at East Mecklenburg High.
They’re two of just 100 youths from around the country invited to attend. Ten teenagers were chosen from North Carolina and six from South Carolina. (A third Charlotte student was chosen, but won’t be able to go. Derick Brewer, a junior at Victory Christian Center, had hoped to learn more about sports medicine careers but will instead be playing in a basketball tournament.)
The Academy, which runs March 7-10, holds a series of career workshops based on teens’ interests. They will also learn communication techniques and networking skills.
Workshop instructors range from American Idol winners for singing and Hollywood movie directors for television and movies, to Nike shoe designers for sports and celebrity chefs for cooking.
Clarke, 18, dreams of attending an art institute and becoming a fashion stylist. She wants to open her own boutique – either in NoDa or South End – and showcase different kinds of designers.
“I want to … give designers a chance to have their things out there and get feedback,” Clarke said.
A fashion enthusiast, she said she’s learned she’s better at dressing people than making clothes, and described her style as “contemporary ’80s.”
“If I was born in the ’70s, I would have been perfect in the ’80s. I would have loved it,” she said.
Clarke said one of the Disney Dreamers application questions asked what she would want to take away from attending the Academy.“I would like to receive the skills and guidelines to start my own business because of course, right now, I don’t know how to do it, and I see it as a great opportunity to have mentors show me how to do it,” she said.
Clarke has also been singing pop and R&B songs with a production team for the past four years, and has singing aspirations as well.
“I do have big dreams to become a professional singer,” she said. “Right now I’m looking for girls to be in a group with me.”
Chauncey, a 15-year-old sophomore at Cannon School, dreams of attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology and becoming a video game designer.
Chauncey said he’s a math and science fan: “If I had to go to a school with just math and science, that would make my life.”
He is currently teaching himself the complex programming language C++, and after searching YouTube for how to make video games, he’s almost finished creating his first one. He’ll be asking his friends at school to test it out for him.
“The excitement of wanting to do something and being able to meet the challenge, it’s the most remarkable thing ever,” Chauncey said.
One of the application essays was about his top role model.
“I admire my mom,” he said. “Her work ethic is just amazing.”
His mom, Shawn Shelton, heard about the Academy by listening to the Steve Harvey Morning Show.
“I just really think the programs that Mr. Harvey is doing … are a wonderful opportunity with Disney. I really wanted him to be a part of them and get connected with like minds,” Shelton said.
Chauncey can’t wait to go.
“For my profession, I’m going to Epcot,” he said, explaining that he’ll get to learn how rides work. “I’m going to meet Steve Harvey and everything. … It’s just really, really, exciting.”
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