Disney Apsire Program Celebrates First Cast Member Graduate

We love learning about this kind of Disney news, so we had to share this with all of you!  The Walt Disney Company launched a Disney Aspire education program where Disney is helping cast members pay for various training, certifications, degrees, etc.  The program is a 100% tuition-paid education program for hourly full-time and part-time cast members located in the US to help them advance toward their individual professional dreams.  Disney Parks Blog is debuting a “Dreams Within Reach” series to introduce readers to some of the happenings within the program.  Today, we got an introduction to the first Disney Aspire graduate, Anthony Payne.  He is a Custodial Cast Member at Walt Disney World Resort.


He currently works at Epcot through the night to ensure the park is cleaned up and ready for guests arrival each morning.  He has now completed his HVAC Technician course work at Penn Foster.  His dream is to use this education to work on the Disney Cruise Line.  Mickey Mouse showed up to commemorate and congratulate this amazing achievement.  Anthony shared that he is inspired by his wife and three children.  “They have always been my biggest motivation,” he says. “I’ve wanted to go back to school for about 15 years now, and I haven’t heard of too many companies offering something as generous as this.”

“I really feel like Disney is investing in our futures, and they’re helping us to grow and follow our dreams. I can’t wait to use my skills, and advance as far as I can here.”

Check out this awesome video below:

Disney Aspire is set out to help 85,000 hourly cast members reach their personal goals by providing various educational programs, coaching, job experience and more in their career areas of interest.  There are all kinds of options and programs to support a wide variety of career paths like an HVAC technician path or a college degree.

We look forward to brightening your day with more of these great stories from Disney Parks Blog with the #DreamsWithinReach series over the coming months.

Congrats to Anthony on his amazing accomplishment!

Photo and Source Credit:  Disney Parks Blog

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About Christy Caby

I am a long time Disney addict! This love began as a child and stayed with me in my teen years. I completed the Disney College Program, was engaged and honeymooned at Disney, visited WDW while pregnant with each of our two boys, and have brought our boys since they were babies (they are now 5 and 2). We have over 10 Disney World vacations under our belt. Our recent adventure was a big move from St. Louis, MO to Florida! We knew that we needed more Disney magic that just a couple times of year, and we worked hard to make it happen! Now we hit the parks almost every weekend! We are working to dine at every location, experience every attraction and look for every hidden Mickey! We want to be able to say that we have one it all! We are branching into the Cruise Line and are planning a trip to Disneyland in California next year. To say that we are Disney addicts may be an understatement. When I am not at WDW with my family, I am reading Disney blogs and news, crafting (usually Disney décor for our home), planning Disney vacations for others or working on my dissertation for my doctoral program. I am a Project Manager by profession, so I have mastered fitting everything into a tight schedule! We feel we lead an exciting life where we get to spend a lot of time together doing what we love! I love being able to this love and Disney magic with everyone else so that others can make the most of whatever time they get to have at the most magical place on earth!