The date was December 9, 2002, when my daughter’s life, and our whole family’s as well, was changed. That was when our nine-year-old daughter, Erin, discovered the Disney College Program (DCP). Our family had been taking Disney trips just about every year since she was very young and her focus was always on characters, rides, Hidden Mickeys, and pool time. However, on that particular trip she met her first DCP intern and began quizzing every Cast Member she could about the program. It was during that trip that she really began to notice the Cast Members and the difference they made in the Guests’ experiences. She also became fascinated with the idea of going to college while living at Disney World and decided that was what she was going to do. Once we got home, she got on our computer, filled out an application, and soon found out you must be enrolled in college before actually applying to the program.
Although her dream was on hold, we continued to make annual Disney trips and her passion to be part of the DCP became even stronger. Over the years, we met so many Cast Members that fueled her desire to become a part of the program through their attitudes and how they treated Guests. Trip after trip, individual Cast Members would go the extra mile to make our vacation both memorable and special and she wanted to be “that” person to other Guests.
In the fall of 2012, she enrolled at Oklahoma State University and was finally eligible to apply to the program. She found out in late August that she had been accepted into the program and on January 11, Erin and I began the nearly 1,400-mile drive from Edmond, Oklahoma, to Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Erin is now a Disney Cast Member, participating in the DCP and working at the dinosaur attraction in Animal Kingdom. She is interacting with Guests and other Cast Members on a daily basis and hoping to make magical experiences for each of them.
Erin has truly achieved a dream … She is living in Disney World, taking a Disney engineering class, and working in a world where magical moments are an everyday occurrence.
And she is definitely making her father very proud!
— Mike, 54, Edmund, OK