Debora Cordero, a 17-year-old student at Osceola High School, first started drawing when she was just five-years-old. When she was 10, she began attending the Boys & Girls Club in Kissimmee, Florida, and met other young children who loved the arts. It was then, she remembers, her dream was born.
Since that special moment, Cordero has had no shortage of fascinating accomplishments. From winning “Best in Show” at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Fine Arts Exhibit and creating a mural that is now displayed in more than 50 club branches across the country, each in a different state, to appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America, it was no surprise when she advanced as a finalist in the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida’s Youth of the Year Program.
Endless creativity was at the heart and soul of Walt Disney, and Walt Disney World Resort has long embraced the arts by sparking the imaginations of children, like Cordero, across the globe. And behind the world-class entertainment, parades, shows and music of Walt Disney World Resort are countless talented artists and creative forces who bring them from concept to reality. Upon learning Cordero dreams of becoming an illustrator or concept artist, Disney partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida to organize a unique job shadow experience, allowing Debora to step into the shoes of Disney Parks Live Entertainment Principal Art Director, David Hartmann, for a day.
“I was astounded by Debora’s background, talents, and passion,” said Hartmann. “And to know there are local organizations like the Boys & Girls Club that embrace the passion of kids and teens like Debora, encouraging them to learn more, do more and push harder, is incredibly heartwarming. I look forward to what she has in store for the world.”
During her shadow experience, Debora toured the Disney Parks Live Entertainment building, observed a few artists at work and met a room full of Disney Parks Live Entertainment – Art & Design team members, who shared stories of their backgrounds, paths to success, and valuable advice on pursuing your passion and education.
“A one-on-one experience like this for our students is invaluable,” said Betsy Owens, director of marking and communications for Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. “There’s no greater joy than for a young, aspiring artist to be able to shadow a Disney artist, whose job is to not only make art but to make magic, too.”
This unique job shadowing opportunity continues a more than 50-year partnership between Walt Disney World Resort and the Boys & Girls Clubs, and demonstrates the company’s long-standing commitment to the arts. As presenting sponsor of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Youth of the Year Award, Disney is delighted to help inspire kids like Debora to create the futures they imagine.