AUSTIN (KXAN) – A winner of last year’s Disney Dreamers Academy Essay Contest said it was one of the best experiences of her life, and she encourages others to apply. 

U.S. High School students aged 13 to 19 have the opportunity to apply for the Disney Dreamers Academy, which gives driven students who “dream big” the chance to experience a four-day event at Disney World Flordia “designed to give young people the tools they need to make their dreams come true,” according to Disney.

Medha Pulluru, a 17-year-old Vista Ridge High School student, was one of 100 chosen out of 25,000 applicants last year. And hearing some of Pulluru’s dreams she hopes to achieve, it is unsurprising to learn that she got a spot.  

“I want to pursue a career in medicine [and] I hope to start a [pharmacutical] company in undergrad,” she told KXAN. “I’m really interested in research, so I hope to continue that. I want to be a neurosurgeon,” she continued. “That’s kind of the plan as of right now.” 

In her essay, Pulluru spoke about the research she works on at Vista Ridge High, her passion for communication and debate, her artwork and her involvement in an organization that aims to mitigate issues with drugs at her high school.

“I just talked about my passion for helping others, and I think I was really able to communicate that to the judges of Disney Dreamers,” she said. 

After Disney chose Pulluru, she was flown to Disney World Florida for an all-expenses paid trip, where she got to tour the park and network with industry professionals. 

“It was honestly kind of surreal,” she said. “It was one of the best experiences of my life.” 

Pulluru said people can now submit applications for the 2024 contest and wants to encourage other Central Texas go-getters to apply. 

“I have a lot of students trying to reach me and ask for advice,” Pulluru said. “I think the main thing that I would say is Disney is all about giving kids joy,” she continued. “I think it’s really about communicating to Disney that you have a passion for what you do and [that you’re] able to spread this joy for the people around you.”