Disneyland Empowers Young Girls With Unique Mentorship Program

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Two Cast Members with two girls in "girls, inc" shirts in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland Resort is a unique place to work with hundreds of potential career paths. Cast Members make the magic happen!

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Credit: Screenshot via Annual Shareholders Meeting

This summer, The Walt Disney Company teamed up with Girls Inc. of Orange County, an organization that serves young girls around Anaheim from kindergarten to age 18. From their website:

Girls Inc. of Orange County positively changes the lives of 4,000 girls, kindergarten to 18 years old, each year by providing year-round holistic, compensatory, and intentional programming focusing on STEM, financial literacy, sound body image, healthy relationships, and college and career readiness.

Girls Inc. of Orange County has been a respected member of the non-profit community since 1954. The mission of Girls Inc. is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. We put our mission into practice through the Girls Inc. experience that equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow into healthy, educated and independent adults. Health, education and independence are the three main areas that surround our program curricula.

Disneyland Resort Cast stand with their mentees from Girls Inc. of Orange County

According to the Disney Parks Blog, “the five participants participated in informational interviews, shadowing, networking, tours and a final presentation to the group that captured all of their learnings and takeaways for the future. Their five cast member mentors guided them through these immersive activities, investing in their personal and professional growth along the way.”

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Disneyland Resort Food & Beverage Operations manager Theresa Anderson described her experience with her mentee, April, as “delightful.”

Cast Members at Disneyland Paris
Credit: Disneyland Paris News

“I’ve taught April that there are no limits,” Anderson said. “That although the world is naturally going to impose limits on her, she should not impose any limits on herself, get bogged down by red tape that is seemingly in her way, and lose sight of her biggest desires.”

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April said Anderson became “her new best friend and third parent.” She said she learned “to go for everything that I want to go for in life. To stick to my dreams and not let anything stop me from listening to my heart.”

Pin Trading Cast Members
Credit: Disney

Catherine McCoy, Disneyland Resort Industrial Engineering senior manager, also spoke about her experience with her mentee, Karen. Karen wants to be a mechanical engineer, so the two bonded over their shared interest in engineering.

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“It’s been great to see her grow so much in her confidence and knowledge during this program,” McCoy said.

cast member at work
Credit: Disney

“We had a spark that made it easy to connect, bonding over our passion for women’s rights to take up space in a field that is mainly full of men,” Karen explained.

It’s great to see Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure encouraging young women and girls to follow their dreams. 

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