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Hinds Community College Student Success Story

Donuts on Cake

Mari Lampkin, a former MSU graduate, was introduced to Mickey Mouse and his friends at age 3 on her church (Higher Heights M.B. Church, Moorhead) trip at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. She explored the 4 magical theme parks at Disney on various vacations until the age of 15. Mari was fascinated by her experiences there with the idea of working for the Walt Disney Company and Affiliated Companies one day.

Since then, Mari often watched Walt Disney movies and joined the Disney Club while at Mississippi State University to engage with other enthusiastic Disney fans.

MSU prepared Mari academically to pursue a career in Fashion Design and Merchandising (with a concentration in Merchandising), Market-ing, and Business Administration from which she earned three degrees (Magna Cum Laude) in 2022. She also received Congressman Bennie G. Thompson’s Congressional Award for her exceptional achievements.

In the summer of 2023, Mari decided to research job opportunities with the Walt Disney Company and Affiliated Companies diligently and learned of the Disney College Program. The Program started in 1981, allowing students to live just outside the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, or the Disneyland Resort in California, while earning college credit at Disney parks and resorts through a combination of on-the-job experience, shadowing, and seminars.

There are over 50,000 students who apply to the Disney College Program each year, and it varies depending on the program and park. There is only 20 percent of students who applied will be accepted.

Therefore, Mari applied to the Disney College Program on “faith” and was invited to interview for the program. She was amazed to have been selected from the thousands of applicants who entered and delighted to be considered as a candidate.

Mari Lampkin has accepted an invitation to attend the 2024 Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida, and looks forward to starting another chapter in her life.

In mid-January, Mari moved to the Florida campus and was super excited to be greeted by the Disney family while there. She talked about how one of her lifelong dreams has become a reality and she looks forward to experiencing the magic of Walt Disney World through her internship.

Mari is so fortunate to learn of the Disney College Program and the many experiences it has to offer. Currently, she’s taking advantage of her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity while developing everlasting relationships and making the most of her time at Walt Disney World.

Mari adds, “We should continue to take challenges and turn them into opportunities. Also, encourage students to follow their dreams, no matter what the outcome may look like”.

Before her college journey, Mari was a Gentry High School student, maintained a 4.0, and earned an opportunity to attend the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (Columbus, MS). There she made friendships and grew stronger academically. Mari graduated there in the class of 2017. She enrolled in Hinds Community College (Raymond Campus) and took advantage of the travel abroad program (Costa Rica) through the honors program. Nita Burchfield, business technology instructor was very helpful with instructional information allowed her to think and broaden her career search. She graduated with distinguished honors (3.9 GPA) in the class of 2019.

Donuts on Cake
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