One of the things that I really enjoy about the Disney Dreamers Academy is the fact that they really focus on sisterhood and manhood. They take the time to separate the female Dreamers from the male Dreamers so they can get real and open with them.
While at DDA, I had the pleasure of chatting it up with Brandi Harvey and Karli Harvey-Raymond, the dynamic twin daughters of Steve Harvey (whom I got to hang out with last week at the Act Like A Success Conference).
Brandi and Karli talked about what they wished they had heard growing up and shared some of their style and inspiration with us.
Fashion police at Disney Dreamers with Brandi and Karli
During their session, they used images on slides and created a live “fashion police” experience for the female Dreamers. Complete with a panel of “experts”, the crowd would show their approval or disapproval of an outfit by turning their paddles on the smiley face or puzzled face side.
The panel would then also share why they thought it was or wasn’t an appropriate outfit. They would share what they thought would make it better.
It surely made for some good conversation and laughs!
Who they credit their confidence in life & style to
Brandi and Karli discussed the fact that they didn’t get to wear a lot of the type of clothes that were shown in their presentation (you know…the clothes that are too grown or just not appropriate for teens).
They credit their mom for their sense of style and confidence. Growing up, if there was a trend that everyone was rocking, their mom wouldn’t allow them to wear that trend. When they argued that “everyone has it” (it being patent leather shoes at the time), their mom told them that’s exactly why they couldn’t have it.
They never had a pair of Jordans because everyone else did. Their mom would ask them why would they want to do what everyone else is doing? She told them not to join the trends but to set them.
That has been the catalyst of their lives. They’ve always set themselves apart and not cared what others thought about them.
Brandi & Karli’s message to mothers and daughters
Daughters (Brandi): You can’t be worried about what other people think about you. Just go out and do you. Be you. Be the brightest, shining light that you can be and the world will open up to you. They’re going to catch up to you. You don’t have to catch up to them.
Parents (Karli): Don’t let your fears discourage your children from being successful. Just be there to support them. Sometimes they don’t need your advice, you just need to let them wade in the water. They have wings and they work. Let them fly. Remember that you are their safe place.
We need to affirm our children. If you don’t tell them how handsome and beautiful they are, who will? Affirm their beauty, their ability, their love. That’s our job as parents, as mentors, as their village.
Our children need love from you.
On taking Disney Dreamers Academy Global
Since Brandi and Karli have been with DDA from the start, I wanted to know where they see it in the next ten years? I asked if there was anything they want to see that hasn’t been done yet?
Brandi: Maybe we do Disney Dreamers in Paris. Maybe it’s Shanghai. Let’s do that! I’m going to put that out there. Let’s go global and take this thing around the world. I think the more and more kids that can be exposed to this, the better.
Over the last ten years, we’ve literally seen the transformation. You see the lightbulbs that go off and the magic that happens in this place. That’s a beautiful thing.
Karli: It’s amazing to see how much they accomplish over the years as a result of having this experience. And we evolve in this process as well. We started in our twenties in this process.
We want to continue to see this grow and see more and more kids in this program. That is the beauty of Disney Dreamers Academy.
Karli went on to express that the magic happens when you’re exposed. We need to expose our kids to travel and to different people that can become their mentors; expose them to Disney World because it opens up a world of possibilities!
Really, they just want to see DDA continue to evolve for many years to come. And I can agree with them on that!
On #BlackGirlMagic, Brandi shared: Individually, we are magical. Collectively, we are powerful. And we have the ability to change the world.
Be sure to check out my other Disney Dreamers Academy posts to see what the magic is all about:
This visit to the Disney Dreamers Academy was sponsored by Walt Disney World. As always, the thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information about Disney Dreamers Academy CLICK HERE.