LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., – It’s easy to spot a Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Star – just look for the light they shine on those around them. Inspired by the generous, considerate spirit of local teenager Travis Davis, the Walt Disney World Resort made dreams come true for his fellow members of the West Sanford (Fla.) branch of the Boys & Girls Club.
As one of 15 Central Florida students who were named “Shining Stars” from the more than 300 Dreamers and Doers selected by their schools, Travis was recently invited to attend a special event at the Walt Disney World Resort. But despite his excitement, he couldn’t seem to shrug off a feeling of disappointment for his friends back at the Boys & Girls Club.
“He wished he could bring children who haven’t had the opportunity to visit our parks,” said Angie Sola, manager for Walt Disney World Corporate Citizenship. “His ability to consider the feelings of others and serve as a role model for his family, friends and community are the qualities that make him a Shining Star.”
To be recognized as Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars, students write an essay about what they do at school, at home or in their community to inspire others and make our world a better place. A member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, an organization supported nationally by The Walt Disney Company, Travis spends up to 10 hours a day mentoring younger children and taking part in club programs during the summer.
“In his essay, Travis described how he got into his share of trouble before surviving a near-fatal car accident,” Sola said. “The experience motivated him to make the most of his second chance at life.”
Inspired by Travis’ selfless outlook, the Walt Disney World Corporate Citizenship team decided to create a little magic for the Sanford kids. Sola surprised Travis and his friends last month with a Mickey Mouse bag filled with Walt Disney World theme park tickets.
“Seeing their smiles, hearing their laughter and having them say ‘thank you’ … it really touched my heart,” Travis said. “Many of my friends have never seen Disney. When they go, they will see all the things Disney does and say ‘I’m going to do that one day, too.’”
Among the many bright smiles in the gym of the West Sanford Branch of the Boys & Girls Club, Travis’ was perhaps the biggest when the surprise was announced.
“I am very honored to be a Shining Star not just because of the recognition but because it inspires me to help even more,” he said. “When Angie came today, I felt I impacted my whole club just by doing good. Being a Shining Star …, it’s just the beginning.”