ALBANY – Darton sophomore Jaelah Smith keeps a set of Mickey Mouse ears in her car. To say the she loves Disney would be like saying Dumbo hears pretty well. Smith really, really loves Disney. But the young music major loves college life too and recently she secured a way to experience both.
Smith is one of a handful of college students chosen among thousands of applicants from all over the globe for the Disney College program. She will begin a full-time, paid internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., this coming January. It’s quite an honor, and Jaelah, Darton’s sole piano major, is feeling pretty upbeat about her future plans.
“I’ve been to Disney World nine times,” she said. “It’s the feeling of Disney – it’s such a good feeling. There’s this sense of joy wherever you go.”
Smith will continue to take Darton classes online while she works in merchandising at the resort. Previous retail experience and lots of research and planning helped her through the application process only weeks ago, but her charm and personality carried her through the following interview.
“I just tried to make them laugh and to be personable,” she said. “I was really nervous; I didn’t think I was going to get it.”
Smith got an additional boost from Dr. Zheng Jennifer Huang, an assistant professor of piano at Darton, whom she used as a reference. She also refers to her experience at Darton as the reason for her focus and success.
“The classes, the people – it was just a mixture of things,” she said. “I was an art major. Darton made me realize I wanted to be a music major, then get into entertainment, and that lead to this. It kind of opened the door.”
Since 1966, Darton State College has been a leader in providing quality educational opportunities and services to Southwest Georgia. Darton offers a variety of programs, including Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 54 transfer program options, 41 career and certificate program options, and 40+ online programs. Today, Darton is home to more than 6,000 students with over 155 international students from 40 countries. Darton State College, a public institution, is part of the University System of Georgia and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.