Celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth: Tracey Powell on How She’s Helping Students Dream Big

Celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth: Tracey Powell on How She’s Helping Students Dream Big

Last week, we shared how Walt Disney Imagineering’s Carmen Smith is helping us create more inclusive experiences. Today, we’re thrilled to share our last trailblazer in our celebration of Black History Month, Disney Signature Experience’s Vice President Tracey Powell, who oversees Travel Services, Pricing and Revenue Management for Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and Adventures & Expeditions. Tracey is also a champion for students with big dreams.  

Tracey has always embraced her passion for diversity. As a leader she believes, “it is so important to have empathy and to really have people understand and know that you see them.” Fully embracing this leadership philosophy, Tracey is committed to creating a culture of inclusion where people are empowered to be their authentic self, happier at work and open to share their thoughts and ideas. In the end our team, our company and our guests all benefit. In 2017, Tracey was recognized with the Profiles in Diversity Journal’s annual “Women Worth Watching” award.

A native of Gary, Ind., Tracey graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Finance, and earned her MBA from Barry University. Being from the Midwest she never visited Orlando as a child and always believed she would work for a large manufacturing company. But she followed the same advice she now gives to people beginning their career, “be open to everything and you never know where it will take you.”

Nearly two decades ago, Tracey’s career took her to Disney where she was promoted to an executive position in only two years. She’s had the opportunity to work on multiple Park sites around the world throughout her Disney career including leading teams at Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disney Resort. In her current role, she is responsible for providing the vision, oversight and leadership for the business and finances of Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and Adventures & Expeditions.

Tracey’s commitments to diversity extend well beyond her leadership philosophy. Tracey sits on several diversity and inclusion councils at Disney and is the executive champion of Disney Dreamers Academy – a program committed to inspiring Black youth and to making a difference in their lives at a critical time – the high school years. The four-day immersive and transformational experience at Walt Disney World Resort provides an opportunity for them to explore their future dreams and aspirations. Her love for this program ignites hope and drive into high school students to pursue their dreams, and even reminds parents to never stop dreaming themselves. 

As executive champion since 2009, Tracey passionately oversees and advocates for Disney Dreamers Academy which provides life-changing opportunities for 100 students each year. 

“This program has a profound impact on the students,” said Tracey. “They come to us with an abundance of ambition, and we foster their dedication with guidance, mentorship and development opportunities. One dream can change the world, and through Disney Dreamers Academy we hope to help these amazing teens turn their dreams into reality.” 

Watch Tracey share more of her story, and learn how she helps inspire students to dream big. 

Stay tuned later this week as we share a feature on the cast member events and activations that took place throughout the month, and follow along on our Disney Parks, Experiences & Products social handles: Instagram: @DisneyParksBlog, Twitter: @DisneyParks, and Facebook: @DisneyParksBlog.



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