Fox Chapel Area's Jacques Moye selected as Disney Dreamer
Fox Chapel Area sophomore Jacques Moye is aiming for the stars.
His goal is to be an astrophysicist. Moye’s more immediate focus is a stellar trip to Disney Dreamers Academy, to which he won entry in a nationwide essay contest. The 16-year-old is one of only 100 students selected to attend.
This year’s academy is March 20 to 24.
According to the Disney Dreamers website, students participate in hands-on, immersive career workshops. Each student is given life tools such as effective communication techniques, leadership skills and networking strategies.
The weekend will include educational sessions, career-related activities, networking and interviewing opportunities and other events throughout the living classroom of the Walt Disney World Resort.
During the 12 years of the academy, stars from different fields have been on hand, including Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Mary J. Blige. This year, the academy will feature Steve Harvey as its booster personality.
Jamaca Chavis, Moye’s mother, heard about the program when her son was much younger. She encouraged him to go through the application process, which is open to youths ages 13 to 19.
The Indiana Township student had to write a number of essays. Last year, he wasn’t chosen, but he persisted.
“(My mother) always motivates me,” Moye said. “If you come up short of the mark, always try again. She wants me to always do my best.”
Chavis said, “I was really excited for him; it’s a huge blessing. I would encourage other students to apply.”
The questions, which are on the Disney Dreamers Academy website, focus on the student’s motivation, attitude and personal goals.
His mother, a social services counselor, said, “He does whatever he needs to do. He polices himself with this homework and is self-motivated. I always felt this type of program would give him a wonderful push.”
Moye’s father, Jacques Moye Sr., an attorney and certified public accountant, said no one deserves this type of opportunity more than his son.
“You can ask anyone that knows him, he’s just an overall great kid. Nothing in this world makes me more proud,” he said. “His mom and I work together seamlessly in all aspects with respect to Jacques and his upbringing, education, extracurricular activities, spiritual awareness and more. We work with Jacques to set goals, create activities to meet these goals, and to consistently measure them. So far, we all think he is doing a great job.”
Moye is always focused on moving forward. He knows his goal of majoring in astrophysics is lofty, so he keeps pushing in his accelerated courses. Whenever he has a bump in the road, he refocuses.
Moye runs all year – literally — with cross country in fall, indoor track in winter and outdoors in spring. With three teammates, he broke Fox Chapel Area’s 4-by-4 record.
With his running schedule, many nights he has to push into late hours to study. His mother said his free time is so limited, he can’t schedule leisurely reading. Currently, he’s concentrating on Tolstoy for classwork instead of his favorite author, Stephen King.
Hiding out and taking personal breaks is hard with younger brothers, Jackson, 6, and Jacoby, 7, but family is a focus, Moye said.
New beagle puppy Buddy also is a top responsibility, but a happy one.
Moye and his family make time for travel, which brings them joy and education.
He’s gone on a European cultural trip to Amsterdam and Joy Ministries mission trips to Haiti. A real lift was a 24-hour bus trip to Minneapolis to hear his personal hero, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, speak.
No matter how busy Moye is, he keeps his focus on the future. His favorite coat is emblazoned with the NASA insignia and has numerous space-mission patches on it. A NASA trip is in his sights.
Soft-spoken and smiling, Moye enjoys his hectic life and appears easy to please — his favorite food is the high school’s tater tots.
While the purpose of the Dreamers Academy is to inspire students and allow them to explore careers alongside working professionals, Moye is counting on some fun in his downtime at the Magic Kingdom.
Until then, he’s busy dreaming about Space Mountain.
Sharon Drake is a contributing writer.