Disney Future Storytellers
Dream. Build. Become.
Disney Future Storytellers is The Walt Disney Company’s commitment to empowering the next generation of storytellers and innovators. Through social investments and programs that provide inspiration and hands-on experience, we’re increasing access to careers in media, entertainment, technology, and hospitality, and helping ensure that our storytelling reflects the lives and experiences of the many communities we serve. From arts and STEM education for school-age children, to scholarships, mentoring, and creative and technical skill-building for teens and young adults, Disney is helping today’s youth dream about their future, build their talents and skills, and become who they imagine they can be.
We want all youth to have access to rewarding opportunities in our industries. It is important to our future success to have a workforce that is representative and respectful of all communities so that we can create successful content and products reflecting our wide-ranging audiences.
Empowering the Next Generation of Storytellers and Innovators
Sparking interest in storytelling & inspiring the next generation to DREAM about their possibilities
Young Storytellers equips young people to be the driving force of their own narrative. Disney supports the Young Storytellers Script to Stage program by matching elementary school students with employee VoluntEARS who serve as one-on-one mentors as students write scripts that are entirely their own. These stories are then performed by professional actors live on stage for the students, their classmates, and their families.
For over 25 years, Disney has proudly supported FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a robotics community committed to introducing youth to STEM through team-based robotics programs. An example of FIRST programming is “Build the Future” powered by Star Wars: Force for Change. A collaboration involving Disney and Lucasfilm, “Build the Future” has provided FIRST teams around the world the opportunity to tell their own unique stories about using their STEM skills for good.
Disney Musicals in Schools
Disney Musicals in Schools builds sustainable theater programs in under-resourced public elementary schools. Through the program, elementary school students and teachers join professional artists to produce their very own Disney musical on stage. Launched in 2009, Disney Musicals in Schools has supported more than 60,000 students in over 500 schools in the United States and the United Kingdom, providing inspiration and opportunity to more than 180,000 families and audience members.
Image Credit: Lorenzo Ciniglio
Supporting essential training and development programs to help youth BUILD their talents and skills
Ghetto Film School
Ghetto Film School was founded in 2000 to educate, develop, and celebrate the next generation of great storytellers. Disney is proud to work with Ghetto Film School to support the GFS Fellows program, a multi-year intensive storytelling course that gives high school students access to meaningful professional experiences in entertainment, like providing hands-on technical training, helping students build portfolios, connecting students with paid internships, and offering opportunities to be inspired by top filmmaking talent.
The Hidden Genius Project
The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities. Through its award-winning 15-month Intensive Immersion Program, The Hidden Genius Project has served more than 400 Black boys and young men through high school and beyond, developing computer science, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills. With the support from Disney, The Hidden Genius Project will continue to engage youth of color through their array of innovative programs designed to ignite interest and exposure to technical career pathways.
Protagonistas del futuro
Chicas en Tecnología is a non-profit civil society organization in Argentina that seeks to reduce the gender gap in technology in Latin America. Since 2020, Disney’s investment in Chicas en Tecnologia allowed the launch of “Protagonistas del Futuro,” a free online program for female-identifying young people between 16 and 21 years old. Through “Protagonistas del Futuro,” participants learn how to program an application with a social impact focus, building the skills needed to pursue technology careers in Latin America. In addition, an opportunity to receive scholarships in Full Stack Development certification will open this year.
Empowering young adults to BECOME who they imagine they can be
Disney has longstanding relationships with multiple nationally recognized scholarship organizations that provide support to young people from diverse communities. Since 1998, Disney has supported the Hispanic Scholarship Fund through grants that fund scholarships, support services, programs, and events. Additionally, Disney has supported the United Negro College Fund since 2009 and created the Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars program in 2021. Scholars receive an annual scholarship, a paid summer internship at Disney, mentorship opportunities, and assistance with securing possible full-time roles with Disney upon graduation. We also fund scholarships through Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Scholars, American Indian College Fund (AICF), Cal Arts, Florida A&M University (FAMU), and more.
The Prince’s Trust
In 2021, Disney launched a three-year collaboration with The Prince’s Trust to help young people break into the world of fashion and product design. As part of this investment, Disney is working with aspiring designers aged 18-30 to create Marvel-inspired product lines, featuring clothing, bags, and more. This program consists of a series of workshops, hosted by Disney, that teach program participants about the product design industry and offers meaningful mentorship opportunities.
Disney collaborates with Exceptional Minds to help source, skill, scale, support, and sustain neurodiverse talent. Our continued investment will be used for scholarships, academy faculty, career support services, and facilities and technology. Many of the program’s graduates are offered full-time employment at Disney, Marvel, and other studios.
AFI (American Film Institute)
Disney has been investing in the American Film Institute (AFI) for more than two decades. AFI is dedicated to celebrating excellence in the art form and to creating national education initiatives that inspire artists and audiences alike. Disney’s recent support of AFI includes investments in a scholarship program to support historically underrepresented Fellows as well as programs to advance gender equity through resources, workshops, and mentorships.
Disney Storytellers Fund at Howard University
The Disney Storytellers Fund at Howard University provides stipends over a five-year period for student projects focused on storytelling across a variety of media. Through this collaboration, which launched in 2022, Disney offers students access to speakers, mentors, and internships to help the next generation of storytellers build their skills and pursue future careers across a wide variety of disciplines, including entertainment, journalism, design, and more – positioning them to be competitive in the workforce of the future.
HBCU in LA
HBCU in LA works to provide college students from minority-serving institutions across the country with valuable professional experience in the cities where the entertainment industry thrives. Disney’s support of HBCU in LA helps to remove the barriers to entry into the industry by supporting summer housing, internships across the company, and professional development opportunities throughout the duration of the program.
“The Disney-UNCF Corporate Scholars Program has been nothing short of incredible throughout my career journey: the opportunity to network and engage with other like-minded students is the best part! I'm excited about my future in the TV and Film industry, especially with my new role with the National Geographic Post-Production team, because I know it all started with my first internship through the Disney-UNCF Corporate Scholar Program.”
Content Operations & Post-Production Assistant, National Geographic
More Community Impact Stories
ESPN’s My Wish Series Spotlights Four Wish Kids Meeting Their Sports Heroes
Disney Hosts World Princess Week Party for Wish Families Across America
Diversity & Inclusion