Working Hard to Make Dreams Come True

Ashland Teen Sets Sights on being Disney Imagineer

Melissa Owens

The Ashland Beacon



Young Imagineer
Chloe Porter Voted Disney's Young Imagineer

  From the moment she walked into Darrell Hall’s Taekwondo studio at Meade Station Plaza at the age of five Chloe Porter began setting goals for herself at an early age. At 10 she obtained a first degree black belt in Taekwondo and at 14 a second degree black belt. At one point, she even taught some of these skills to others at the same studio.

   It was a family friend, Kathryn Barber, who is now a project management intern that introduced her to Disney’s Imagineering. Since the fourth grade, Porter has had a passion for this program and has read Imagineer books to learn as much as she can about the subject.

   Her mother Pam Porter speaks of her creativity, “When Chloe was three or four she would make pop-up books out of scraps. No kits.”

   Recently, Chloe and Pam visited Disney World to learn more about Imagineering after contacted Disney CEO Bob Iger. 

Chloe was connected with Imagineer M.K. Haley, creative program manager. Between the two of them they emailed back and forth for weeks to prepare for Chloe’s upcoming trip.

   When Porter is ready to apply, she is interested in the project management side of Imagineering, which involves the technological side and allows her to know a little bit about everything behind the scenes.

   Here are a few guidelines for potential Imagineers, provided by Disney: Know what you want to do after you graduate; Build your craft – join clubs related to your field of study, learn about your industry through career fairs and networking events, and look for relevant internships; Get your foot in the door by applying to the Disney Program; Start with the Imaginations Design Competition to further build your resume; Be patient and stay focused as you hone your craft as well as you build relationships along the way. 

   These are guidelines her parents expect Chloe will follow to the last letter during her next four years of college. “She’s a perfectionist,” said Pam Porter, explaining Chloe shows that trait not only in her desire to become an Imagineer but in the outstanding student and athlete she has become along the way.

   Dr. Dwain Porter, her father, has also instructed her along the way, “Study hard, work diligently, and enjoy the journey.”

   As a seventh grader Porter scored a 23 on her ACT and went on to score a 34 as a junior in high school. Not to mention, she has maintained nothing less than an “A” throughout her school career.

   For nine years The Porters have leased horses at Lemaster Stables in Westwood, taking part in a formal English style of riding called saddle seat riding.  Chloe said she even wanted to be a jockey at one point.

   She speaks fondly of her horse Dash by saying, “He is sweet when you’re off him and playful when you’re on. His favorite thing is when you groom his head.”

   From riding to training to feeding, grooming, and mucking stalls, a passion grew that led to Porter winning a $2,500 college scholarship from Tri-state Saddle Bred Horse Association.

   Porter has also participated in Governor’s Cup and Science Olympiad as well as the Glockner Dare to Dream (entrepreneur Shark Tank type contest) in which a $6,500 cash prize was awarded to be split three ways her junior year and a $7,000 cash prize was awarded to be split three ways her senior year. In addition, she received $1,000 from the Elks National Scholarship.

   Approximately, 25-30 students receive the prestigious Otis A. Singletary Scholarship, and Chloe received it with full tuition for all four years and room and board for the first two years of her engineering degree at the University of Kentucky, beginning this fall.

   Besides these scholarships, Porter was a Kentucky regional all-area runner and ran a half marathon in Florida in just over two hours.

   A resident of Ashland, Kentucky Porter is a 2018 graduate of Russell High School.

   As a teenager overcoming obstacles, she finds strength in her faith and lifestyle. By seeing Porter’s success, it’s obvious that she has followed the advice of Walt Disney, “First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And, finally, dare.”