Khushi Talluru always has been a dreamer.
Talluru, a freshman at Lakewood Ranch High School, has known since she was a small child she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Siri, who works in the medical field.
Talluru dreams of becoming an emergency room doctor.
“I like thinking on my toes,” Talluru said. “I think with the ER you have to make decisions quickly and you need to make the right decisions because those decisions can impact whether the patient lives or whether there are complications.”
The Disney Dreamers Academy will help Talluru make her dream of becoming an ER doctor become a reality.
Talluru was one of 100 students selected to be a part of the Disney Dreamers Academy, which provides mentors, career workshops, skills opportunities and a behind-the-scenes look at Walt Disney World. Some of the skills learned by academy participants will be interviewing, networking and dressing for success.
Thousands of high school students between the ages of 13 and 19 apply to become a part of the Disney Dreamers Academy.
It took several days for Talluru to fully understand the impact of her acceptance into the program.
“I feel honored and excited because I will be able to do things I have dreamed of as a little kid,” Talluru said. “All the work that went into this, all the hopes I had, the nights I spent dreaming about this better future now has the possibility to come true with this workshop and this academy.”
Siri Talluru described her daughter as self driven and motivated.
“She’s pursuing things (like the Dreamers Academy) on her own without any coaching because she’s focused and self driven,” Siri Talluru said. “I just sit next to her in case she needs me.”
Khushi Talluru and her family will be at Walt Disney World March 3-6 so she can participate in the academy.
Talluru looks forward to getting advice from mentors and leaders in the medical field and participating in medical related workshops. She hopes there’s a workshop on the basics of stitching wounds.
“I’d like to get hands-on experience of some of the things that are not taught early in medical school,” she said.
She hopes the academy will help her begin to plan her future.
Besides the medical field, Talluru has an interest in screenwriting and seeing how Disney develops its movies.
Talluru would like to see more representation and diversity on the big screen. She said people, especially children, always are looking to see themselves in movies and on TV.
“You want to see a part of yourself in someone so famous because that gives you hope that in the future you can be as amazing as her or I can do the things he did,” she said. “Not to have that sort of thing so young in your life, you start to think, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that.’ That hurts your self-confidence as a kid.”
Talluru said more representation in movies and TV will encourage people that they can change the world.
She hopes there will be a workshop on the basics of drafting a script because she doesn’t have experience in writing scripts.
“I hope I get to meet some of the screenwriters for some of the Disney movies and I get to work with them,” Talluru said. “Under their expertise, I want to learn how they’re able to immerse such cool ideas into a way that can be explained to little kids.”
Talluru’s father, Madan, will be able to accompany her to the Dreamers Academy. Madan Talluru looks forward to seeing what the academy’s workshops for parents have to offer.
Talluru and her family will be able to visit the theme parks as well. She can’t wait to walk around Magic Kingdom and see Cinderella’s castle.
“I’m excited about seeing the behind-the-scenes, what goes into all the wonderful things that Disney is able to provide,” she said. “I think there’s so much more to Disney than what people see during daylight hours. Sometimes I think the things that happened before and after the magical experience are the things that matter the most.”