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The school year is wrapping up and it’s time for Disney’s 31st annual salute to Central Florida’s youngest humanitarians and community service leaders. This year Walt Disney World Resort recognized 15 local students with exceptional achievements, naming them Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars.

Making a difference through their kindness and hard work, Disney Dreamers & Doers consistently demonstrate outstanding character and lead by example. Students selected for the Shining Star distinction include a second grader who befriends and assists disabled students, an eighth grader who created a documentary promoting South African girls’ education and a high school senior whose guidance in fitness and nutrition helped a friend lose more than 100 pounds.

“Here at Walt Disney World Resort, we continue to be impressed by our community’s youngest citizens and are inspired by the positive impact they have on Central Florida,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations for Walt Disney World Resort. “Through compassion, vision and hard work, these dedicated students act on their dreams of changing the world.”

Approximately 400 students were chosen by their schools for this distinguished award. From all the 2014 Disney Dreamers & Doers named, a panel of judges selected the 15 Shining Stars from elementary, middle and high schools in Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole counties. In its 31st year, the Disney Dreamers & Doers program has recognized nearly 13,000 students since the program began.

“We’re proud of all of our students at Lawton Chiles Middle School, but it’s especially gratifying to count a Disney Dreamer & Doer Shining Star among our Panthers,” said Dr. Margaret Gunderson, principal of Lawton Chiles Middle School in Seminole County. “This honor exemplifies our school’s community spirit and commitment to excellence.”

Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars receive a Mickey Mouse statue known as a “Mousecar,” a gold medallion and annual theme park passes for themselves and their immediate family.

Join us below the jump for a list of the shining stars and their inspiring accomplishments:

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For all the craziness that goes on in the parks sometimes, it’s important to remember that Walt Disney World is part of the Central Florida community. As such it has made great contributions to many non-profits in the area, but the one that moves me the most was the amazing job the company did at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. They’re not stopping with the Walt Disney wing either, The Walt Disney Company just presented a $3 million gift to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to help fulfill a critical need in the treatment of young patients at the hospital’s Bert Martin’s Champions for Children Emergency Department & Trauma Center.

The gift will enable the purchase and installation of a new 3T MRI machine that will serve as a critical first step in the treatment of children in need of emergency and trauma care in addition to supporting other key pediatric programs at Arnold Palmer Hospital.

“Our friends at The Walt Disney Company have been great partners to Arnold Palmer Hospital since the day we opened our doors almost 25 years ago,” said John Bozard, president of the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation. “We’re delighted that our partnership continues to this day as we look for new and innovative ways to extend our patient-centered philosophy and heighten the care we provide for children.”

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Disney’s Community involvement results in a ton of great stories. It’s always been my pleasure to share how support from The Mouse is helping an endangered species, cleaning the environment, or helping a non-profit. Today’s story focuses on Disney’s efforts to promote the the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Students coached by Disney engineers took home the top honors from the 14th annual College Bowl during the HENAAC conference in New Orleans. One highlight from the annual conference held by Great Minds in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) was the team’s creation of a fantastical magic carpet model designed during a timed challenge.

Great Minds in STEM hosts the HENAAC College Bowl each year to encourage and recognize a new generation of STEM talent and help create a diverse workforce. The conference includes seminars, networking, internship and recruitment opportunities for attendees.