Disney Cast Members, HBCU Advocates Provide Higher Ed Insight to Local Students during HBCU College Information Fair


As they look to the future, 100 students from Edgewater High School see the college experience through a new lens following today’s HBCU College Information Fair. As part of the 10th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney, the college fair was designed to familiarize students with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the world of opportunity higher education presents.

Held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, the event included presentations by United Negro College Fund Development Director Sherry Paramore, who outlined the value of an HBCU education, as well as how to prepare for college and secure financial aid. Students later mingled with Cast Members from Walt Disney World Resort who attended HBCUs. Representing ten HBCU alma maters, Cast Members shared how their college experiences prepared them for Disney careers.

“As HBCU alumni, the Disney Cast Members who attended today’s event have a unique perspective to share with our community’s high school students,” said Belinda Frazier, Manager of Corporate Citizenship for Walt Disney World Resort. “As our Cast Members discussed preparing for college, the HBCU experience and career opportunities, the students were inspired to dream and envision a successful future.”

The college fair is one of the highlights of a weekend of events and activities that showcase the diversity, higher education and contributions of HBCUs.

The centerpiece of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney is the annual football game that matches up teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Nearly 20,000 fans come to Orlando for the yearly event. The game shines a national spotlight on the region and the University of Central Florida through broadcasts on ESPN.

The game, scheduled for Sunday at UCF’s Bright House Networks Stadium, will feature the North Carolina A&T Aggies and the Alabama A&M Bulldogs. With their teams in town for the game, representatives of North Carolina A&T and Alabama A&M took a break from the rivalry to speak to students at today’s event.

“It’s gratifying to see the HBCU community come together to inspire our next generation of students and leaders,” said Sherry Paramore from the United Negro College Fund. “These students represent the future of higher education and institutions like ours.”