Students from Orange County’s high-needs districts face challenging obstacles on their academic journeys and lack the resources necessary to succeed. But, what does it take to inspire student success and how do we best prepare our underserved youth for life beyond school?
Orange County companies are partnering with Orange County United Way’s Youth Career Connections (YCC), a work-based learning program in our United for Student Success℠ initiative, to empower underserved students by offering unique career exploration experiences they wouldn’t get inside the classroom.
One company that has gone above and beyond to support student success in Orange County is Disneyland Resort. Since 2017, hundreds of underserved students have benefited from the YCC Disneyland Executive Speaker Series, which is managed by Orange County United Way’s and supported through a partnership and grant provided by Disneyland Resort.
By participating in the program, I have been able to meet people in my dream career field. I have also had the chance to build interpersonal skills, practice interviewing, and enjoy experiences that can prepare me to be successful in my future career. –Anthony Herrera Zarate, Senior at Anaheim HS
Through YCC’s Disneyland Executive Speaker Series, students are gaining valuable career and life skills by hearing from Disneyland Cast Members on topics such as:
- Leadership development
- Resume and Cover Letter Writing
- Interviewing Tips and Techniques
- First Impressions and Business Etiquette
- Mock Interview Practice with Volunteers
Programs like Youth Career Connections are important for students because it exposes them to careers that they might not have known existed, teaches them the skills they need to land a great job and helps them be successful once they actually get that job, and provides them with adults in their lives—outside of their families—who take a personal interest in them and believe in them. –Kim Chips, Manager, Corporate Citizenship, Disneyland Resort
A total of 80 underserved students from the Anaheim Union High School District completed the 2021-2022 Disneyland Executive Speaker Series, which spanned six months and culminated with an in-person Disneyland Resort site visit where they participated in “Leadership: The Disney Way,” an immersive experience led by Disneyland Cast Members that explores the meaning of leadership and provides a behind-the-scenes look at Disneyland Resort.
This experience taught me to present myself in a favorable and stronger light. I can now push myself to a comfortable spot and converse with interviewers more casually. –Leon Lavong, Senior at Savanna HS
We are so grateful to Disneyland Resort for being a key partner in our efforts to invest in student success. By providing Orange County’s underserved students with professionalism and career-readiness skills, not only do we set our youth up for academic and personal success, but we also equip the future workforce with the skills they need to secure jobs. Thank you, Disneyland Resort, for all that you do to support OC youth and aid our work ensuring our students stay on track in school, graduate high school on time, and are prepared for college, career, and beyond!
Want to support student success in OC?
If your company would like to partner with our United for Student Success initiative, we encourage you to:
Contact Yahaira Ortiz at YahairaO@UnitedWayOC.org or 949.263.6142