Jessica Zhang, 16, a student at Middlesex School in Concord, was one of 21 young women from 13 countries chosen by Disney to participate in its “Dream Big, Princess” video series. Disney gave select members of the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up initiative the chance to produce short films about trailblazing women in fields like technology, entertainment, medicine, law, sports, arts, science, fashion, and politics.
Each of the young women selected, including Zhang, created a digital short that featured a woman at the top of her field who spoke to the next generation about how to accomplish future career goals through “dreaming big.” Some of the participating women included “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts (who interviewed the young filmmakers Wednesday morning on “GMA”), LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and actress Emily Blunt.
“There’s a line in ‘Mary Poppins’ where she says anything is possible, even the impossible,” Blunt said in a press release. “I think that really symbolizes what dreaming big is all about, the idea if you want something big enough that the universe is going to conspire to give it to you.”
Disney chose Zhang for the initiative thanks to an impressive resume that includes serving as a Miss CEO ambassador and founding the nonprofit Yoga4youths, which teaches yoga and mindfulness to underprivileged kids in the Bay Area. For her film, Zhang profiled Susan Prescott, the vice president of product marketing at Apple.
“It’s important to have role models — and by role models I mean the 21 girls that are part of the ‘Dream Big, Princess’ project — out there to inspire other girls,” Prescott said in the release. “I think it’s important to recognize their talents, let them have a voice and show the great things they can do.”
Each of the films in the series, as well as more information about the young filmmakers, is available on Disney’s Dream Big, Princess website. The company will also donate $1 to Girl Up, which supports girls’ leadership and empowerment, each time the hashtag #DreamBigPrincess is used on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. A minimum of $500,000 and a maximum of $1 million will be donated.
Kevin Slane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org