Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
During a press junket held in a roped-off lawn area near the famous Walt Disney World Parade, a little girl named Mila experienced a dream moment.
“The Little Mermaid” star and Grammy-nominated Singer Halle Bailey spotted Mila in a crowd of onlookers as Bailey spoke to the media during an event that kicked off the Disney Dreamers Academy, where 100 students receive mentorship during a four-day educational and entertainment excursion.
Mila wouldn’t let the star go, and Bailey reacted in the most superstar way: she held on and even shed a tear.
“You’re so pretty,” Bailey told Mila. “You’re so beautiful and sweet.”
Those unscripted moments helped to underscore why the Disney Dreamers Academy has meant so much to so many children for 16 years.
Bailey, like the 2022 celebrity ambassador, singer Kelly Rowland, found time not only to mentor the 100 Academy students, but step from behind the parade ropes to embrace fans.
This year, Bailey is joined by other celebrities like H.E.R., Quest Love, and Marsai Martin.
But clearly, Bailey has won over the high school students, their parents, and others with gawkers surrounding Disney Coronado Springs Resort where cast and crew gather for the daily events taking place in the large ballrooms.
On Day 2 of the Academy, Bailey left two aspiring teen filmmakers speechless when she surprised them with a personal invitation to join her on the red carpet at the movie’s world premiere in Hollywood.
Dylan Jones of Atlanta and Madison Henderson of Los Angeles were in the middle of a movie production training session Friday morning during Disney Dreamers Academy when Bailey, the program’s celebrity ambassador, made a surprise appearance and delivered the personal invitation to come to Hollywood.
For the students it was a truly magical dream come true moment.
The movie’s world premiere takes place just before the film officially hits theaters nationwide on May 26.
Bailey is one of several celebrities taking part in the program that runs through Sunday.
This is the 16th year of Disney Dreamers Academy, a four-day, transformational, mentoring program designed to broaden career awareness and create opportunities for 100 Black high school students and teens from underrepresented communities across America each year.
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