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Pursuing His Dreams: High School Senior Selected for Walt Disney World Academy


Hasani Hayden is a firm believer in dreaming big.

So it’s fitting that the Kelloggsville High School senior is one of 100 high-school students selected nationwide to attend the 2015 Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort March 5-8.

Hasani will join other aspiring students at the conference, offered in partnership with comic Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. The weekend includes educational sessions, guest speakers, and hands-on learning opportunities, with the focus on teaching high school students how to dream big and discover possibilities.

Hasani said he looks forward to getting involved with students from across the country to learn more about effective dreaming and achieving these dreams.

“I want to be able to accomplish anything I set my mind to and I hope the Disney Dreamer Academy can help with that,” he said.

He also has a personal reason for wanting to go to the “Most Magical Place on Earth.”

“My mother has always wanted to take me to Disney World. The opportunity never presented itself until now,” he said. “I can now take her expense free.”

On his application essay, Hasani described how he hopes to become an entrepreneur by starting his own consulting firm or private bank. He also wants to start a mentoring program for underprivileged youth in the Grand Rapids area.

Hasani was recently accepted into Harvard University, and is in the process of choosing between Harvard or Morehouse College, where he has been offered full-ride scholarship. He is also a finalist for Morehouse College’s Stamps Leadership Scholarship. He plans to study a combination of finance, economics, political science or education.

Hasani is extremely involved at Kelloggsville High School and in the Wyoming community.

He is vice president of the National Honor Society, vice president of the Kent Career Technical Center National Technical Honor Society and is a member of the Principal Leadership Team at KCTC. He is president of the City of Wyoming Teen Council, a model and contributor for the peer-to-peer education program Pure Passion for Fashion, a mentor for D.A. Blodgett’s Big Brother Big Sister program and Hasani is vice president of the National Honor Society. He also serves as president of the Kent Career Technical Center National Technical Honor Society and is a member of the Principal Leadership Team at KCTC. He is president of the City of Wyoming Teen Council, a model and contributor for the peer-to-peer education program Pure Passion for Fashion, a mentor for D.A. Blodgett’s Big Brother Big Sister program and Co-Program Director of the Youth Leadership Academy at Gerald R. Ford Academic Center. Hasani also executive produced the fundraiser “Hasani Helping Haiti” and last summer attended American Legion Boys Nation.

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

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