By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
When N’Naserri Carew-Johnson arrived at the Disney Dreamers Academy in 2016, she didn’t realize how much she’d put herself in a box.
Thanks to the foundation of entertainer and Disney Dreamers Academy Celebrity Ambassador Steve Harvey, Carew-Johnson realized that she could use her passions and ideas to accomplish her creative goals and so much more.
“Whether it’s the world, or other people’s ideas of what I should or could be, I, in the end, have the decision, and Disney Dreamers Academy changed my entire life,” Carew-Johnson told NNPA Newswire.
A double-major in economics at Stanford University and a changemaker, Carew-Johnson has traveled the world helping entrepreneurs and creatives monetize and scale visibility through digital marketing and conversion strategies.
While she credits Harvey’s foundation for learning about the academy, she’s inspired most by her mother, who left her Sierra Leone home at 16 and immigrated to America to chase her dreams.
“I realized that I could be a creative and that I could feed my passions, my soul, my purpose and still do other things,” Carew-Johnson remarked.
“I was born in Atlanta, but my mother was born and raised in Sierra Leone and came here and went to Temple University. She went through a lot of adversity to get to where she’s at now. Because she is, I am, and she taught me how to dream.
“You must be one heck of a risk-taker to leave the only home you’ve known to come to a new country and a new space for the single purpose of finding you, knowing you, and achieving. That is something instilled in me as a child – where I came from and how far I’ve come, pushes and motivates me.”
Carew-Johnson insists that she intends to use her passion for acting, business, international travel, and global service to effect change in communities worldwide.
She declared that she’s as motivated to initiate the change she felt her community desperately needed.
Carew-Johnson already has used the Disney Dreamers Academy’s education and inspiration to launch the charities “Strength Over Society” and “Friends’ Birth Connection.”
The first charity engages in community service projects and provides a safe space for young people to discuss social issues, trauma, and other matters.
Her “Friends’ Birth Connection” links members with children in shelters and orphanages who share their birthdays and sends party supplies to help them celebrate.
Carew-Johnson said she first heard the term “changemaker” from entrepreneur Martice Sutton, who’s committed to women and girl’s empowerment, civic engagement, and economic development.
“I have so many passions, so many things I want to contribute to the world, but how do you explain that to people who feel like you should have one particular lane? So, the idea of being a change maker is the best way to describe me,” Carew-Johnson exclaimed.
“Because of the Disney Dreamers Academy, I knew that I wanted to change music, change acting, and change how Black women perceive traveling around the world, and change access for Black youth around the world.”