Arts & Culture / Mosaic / May 27, 2010

From a Disney childhood to Disney College

Juniors Kelsey Ingle and Jordan Chalk were accepted into the Disney College program and will study abroad for fall 2010 at Disney World Resort in Florida. According to its website, “The Disney College Program at the Walt Disney World® Resort is a one-of-a-kind, Disney-designed combination of education and work experience.”

Both Ingle and Chalk have said growing up with Disney was a main reason for wanting to work for the company.

“I admire Disney because it is what shaped my childhood,” Chalk said.

Ingle said she admired Disney’s staying power and although it has had many critics against it, “it has successfully made a place for itself in our society.” Chalk said she admired Disney for its appeal to all ages.

“Since I have a 14-year-old sister who is constantly watching the worst kind of junk on MTV, I really appreciate the fact that Disney is not explicit, but is something for the whole family. Its morals and shows are things I would be willing to share with my own children.”

While Ingle has gone to Disney World numerous times as her family had a timeshare in Florida, this would be the first visit for Chalk.

“To me, Disney World was always this magical kingdom down in Florida that I wanted to see for myself. I am so excited that I finally get the chance,” Chalk said.

Ingle started out wanting to work for Disney as a summer job, and after she started researching, she could not find that as an option. After she asked around, she found out sophomore Stephanie Sorenson did the program before she transferred, while she was a student at University of Illinois.

Ingle received her acceptance in mid-February and when asked about the reaction from her friends and family, she said, “They were like, ‘Finally!’ …I was the only one who didn’t see this in my future,” she said.

After her application was accepted, “There was lots of screaming and laughing and phone calls involved,” Chalk said.

When asked about what her family thought about her acceptance, “They are extremely proud of me for taking this opportunity and expanding my horizons. All my life they’ve told me to go after the things I’m passionate about, and the values and stories that are created at Disney are the sorts of values and morals I hope to convey in my own life and in my writing [as a creative writing major],” Chalk said.

While at Disney College, both Ingle and Chalk are expected to be fully available and on top of a 40-hour a week job, they will be taking classes. Ingle said Disney College has specialized courses for certain majors like business or hospitality majors. As a theatre major, Ingle will be taking some theatre courses.

“The one I’m actually excited in taking is seeing shows onstage from a production-style aspect. Instead, what I’ve been concentrating on here is directing and acting at Knox. Disney will get me into the technical aspect of things as well as the business side of theatre.”

“I want to know what it takes to make up a new character or storyline and what goes into bringing them to life. I am very interested in the creative process and would like to be a part of it if I can!” Chalk said in response to what she’s looking forward to.

Sheena Leano

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