Autodesk Software Takes Teenager on the Ride of His Life

Many teenagers visit amusement parks and after riding a twisting, looping rollercoaster, think about how cool it would be to design one. For one lucky high school student, that dream is becoming a reality.

High school senior Thomas Pope, who will be attending University of South Carolina Columbia in the fall, is an aspiring engineer with a passion for rollercoasters. Pope’s life took a twist of its own when he was tapped to participate in the Disney Dreamers Academy, an annual event hosted by the Steve Harvey Show.

Now in its sixth year, the Disney Dreamers Academy program provides youth with an opportunity to learn how they can harness the power of their dreams through interactive workshops and motivational talks with executives from Disney, AOL, CNN, NBC and more. Disney Dreamers Academy gives kids inspiration to explore the countless possibilities they may never have even imagined, as well as the tools they need to jumpstart turning their dreams into reality.

As a company that helps people imagine, design, and create a better world, Autodesk was happy to provide Pope with the tools necessary to help him start realizing his dreams. As part of his winnings from the Academy, Autodesk loaded a donated copy of Autodesk Product Design Suite Ultimate for Education 2013 onto a Sony VAIO laptop (donated via Sony) and offered him ongoing one-on-one tutoring and assistance.

Autodesk Product Design Suite is a comprehensive solution that delivers 3D design, simulation, collaboration, and visualization tools to students and educators and includes software programs such as Autodesk Inventor Professional, AutoCAD Mechanical and Autodesk 3ds Max Design. The toolset helps aspiring designers and mechanical engineers create digital models of everything from a simple, ergonomic seat to an entire amusement ride with thousands of moving parts.

The software donation—provided as an Executive Grant to avoid saddling Pope with taxes from the gift—was keeping in the spirit of the Autodesk Education group, which helps foster the creators of tomorrow by providing students and educators with access to free Autodesk technology, from design apps to professional-grade technology.

The show debuted on the April 19th airing of the Steve Harvey show (Pope is second from the left):

Steve Harvey

If you are a student or an educator, find out how you can get access to Autodesk software today by visiting