Miguel Coppedge, 17, was among 100 young people who participated in this year’s Disney Dreamers Academy’s class. The event was held in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World from March 22-26, 2023. Miguel is an ambitious graduating junior who attends Richard Wright Public Charter School located in Washington, D.C.
“I learned so much about my [intended] field of work and how it actually is to interview other people,” Miguel said.
The aspiring sports analyst will graduate from high school in May.
Teen Dreamers were students from across the country who were selected from among thousands of applicants. They convened at Walt Disney World to take part in a unique mentoring program during an all-expenses-paid trip that was purpose-filled.
“Created and hosted by Walt Disney World, the program is designed to broaden career awareness and create opportunities for Black students and teens from underrepresented communities across America,” per information provided by a Disney press release.
Miguel was a teen who was selected to receive a “dream-come-true’’ career opportunity experience. The student leader also remarked that he received a substantial amount of advice about how to achieve his goals. Participants were able to obtain a “feel” for their prospective field of study.
Miguel had never visited Walt Disney World before the event. His favorite activity was venturing inside the Disney parks, but Miguel’s favorite memory was being surprised by Good Morning America (GMA).
“They surprised me unexpectedly. I will be going to New York on a tour of GMA and go behind the scenes,” Miguel said.
The Washingtonian recalls meeting celebrities including, singer-songwriter and actress Halle Bailey, actress Priah Ferguson, actress Marsai Martin, actor Jalyn Hall, actors Amir and Amari O’Neil, stylist fashion designer, Misa Hylton actress Paula Jai Parker and others when he travelled to become immersed in inspirational experiences.
Miguel landed a spot the very first time he applied for the prestigious opportunity at the special event which has been up and running for 16 years. Exhibiting consistent diligence is paying off for Miguel. He has been applying for colleges after fulfilling his graduation requirements ahead of schedule.
“My academic goals are to graduate college with at least two degrees,” Miguel said.
The author has penned three books to date. Miguel’s resume includes motivational speaker, nonprofit leader, entrepreneur and CEO who also sells his product, Krulle (pronounced Kru-la-la) curl crème and hair butter for boys and men.
Miguel’s story is layered in additional inspiration. His mother, Yolanda Coppedge adopted him when he was two years old.
“I was blessed with Miguel from a good close friend of mine that I worked with. Miguel is her cousin and she asked if I wanted to get him because she didn’t have enough room in her home because she already had Miguel’s older brother and her own children. Miguel was in an infant home at the time. He went there five days after he was born in the shelter his birth mother stayed in. I got him at two months old and put in my petition to adopt him at six months old,” Yolanda said.
Yolanda and her son have become a testament of love. Miguel gained a forever home that was provided by a relentless woman who has been willing to invest in his development over the years. Yolanda stated that Disney provided the parents with celebrity speakers to give them praise, motivation, inspiration and encouragement.
“It was an awesome feeling that I got to be with him for this special moment in his life,” she said.
The proud mother believes that Miguel’s Disney Dreamer opportunity will be a big steppingstone for him for the career path that he chooses, especially with getting hands-on experience.
“I hope people learn that foster children can do and be anything they choose to be especially when they have someone who believes in them, supports them, and most importantly loves them unconditionally,” Yolanda said. “I feel optimistic and that Miguel’s destined for greatness. He’s already great to me. He’s going to change the world.”
Although Miguel was blessed to connect with Yolanda, he remembers to give back to foster children in his community. He provides comfort bags filled with toiletries. Miguel’s self-motivation and positive attitude helps him to shine wherever he goes.
“My career goals are to never stop and keep going even when I reach the top,” Miguel said.
Visit www.disneydreamersacademy.com to learn more about Disney Dreamers Academy and www.krulle.com to learn additional details about Miguel’s product, Krulle. BT