steve harvey*Steve Harvey was on deck to kick off the Disney Dreamer’s Academy yesterday, Thursday (03-08-12), now in its fifth year.

The mentoring program, which hosts 100 high school students ages 13-19 from across the United States during an intensive program at Walt Disney World Resort. Their all-expense paid weekend will be filled with special events, educational workshops, personal enhancement and professional enrichment that will unite them with entertainment experts, motivational speakers and world-class business professionals.

Harvey, who decided to partner with the program back in 2007, told the students today:

“I don’t want you young people to blow this opportunity… because this is about dreamin’, and the thing that I got when I first hooked up with Disney, the thing that interested me about the whole idea was…the most important thing in your life is not your education.  The most important thing in your life is your dream. See scripture says ‘a man without a dream shall parish.  Nowhere in there does it say a man without an education shall parish…”

Yolanda Adams, Essence Magazine’s Mikki Taylor and Mickey Mouse himself were all also on hand to welcome the young ‘Dreamers.  Those that will be working with the youths during the four-day weekend include CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, 106 & Park’s Terrence J, Sean Kingston and more.

And the ‘Dreamer’s’ wasted no time getting off to a great start with their mentoring program.  Yesterday they were broken into groups and got first hand lessons from professionals at BET, Essence Magazine– who’s also a Dreamers Academy Partner, the NABJ and more.  For the next three days they’ll be treated to one-on-one hands on workshops followed by a commencement ceremony that will include a portion of the theatrical production of The Lion King.

This report was filed by EURweb correspondent Crystal Shaw from Disney World. She also recorded the audio below from Yolanda Adams and Steve Harvey: