arton 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. Jaelah really, really loves Disney. But
the young music major loves college life too – and
recently she secured a way to experience both.
Jaelah 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, a 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.”
Jaelah 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
“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.”
Jaelah 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
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 led
to this. It kind of opened the door.”
The daughter of a United States Marine and
self-described military brat, Jaelah came to
Darton from Douglasville and is used to travel.
However it sounds like she may dig her heels
into her next destination.
“You can extend your time there,” she said
of her internship. “I might be at Disney for a
STUDENT MAKES MAGIC