Everyone who visits Disney World probably wishes they could stay just a little longer. Former Moraine Valley student Lauren Salagaj was wishing the same thing when she went to Disney World in January 2007. She got her wish and, 16 months later, is still at Orlando’s Magic Kingdom.

She remembers being attracted to Moraine Valley because of the ability to earn college credits through CLEP tests. “I was impressed by the multiple ways Moraine Valley offered to turn one’s practical knowledge into college credit,” she said. “That simply created more options in terms of a college timetable and the economics of college.”

Lauren first traveled to Disney World through the internship program at Moraine Valley. And it was more than just a little magic that has kept her there now as a full-time employee.

“The internship through Moraine Valley helped me get my foot in the door, and Disney has dozens of opportunities that can help me reach my dream of being an entertainer on stage,” Lauren said. “Disney is just the coolest place on Earth to work.”

Dancing and singing since she was 6 years old, Lauren was a mainstay in the choirs and musicals at Shepard High School and held two lead roles in performances at Moraine Valley. This past year at Disney World has brought about many exciting roles, including being a member of the opening ceremony cast of the 2007 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas parade. In February, Lauren was one of only 20 young ladies from across the country called back for the role of Elle Woods in a production of Legally Blonde. “Getting a call back was great. It was a big push for me, and I was really thrilled,” she said. “I don’t know what my next steps will be, but right now I’m really enjoying what I’m doing.”

In the five years Moraine Valley has been participating in the Disney College Program, more than 300 internship offers have been made to Moraine Valley students. These internships give students real-world work experience in positions that best suit their career interests, such as food and beverage service, hospitality, costuming, performing, and more.