Port Washington eighth grader, Tess Romero, stars in new Disney series

Ili Pecullan, Staff Writer

Disney Plus, Disney’s brand new streaming service, recently released an original
series: Diary of a Future President. The show centers around the life of Elena Cañero-Reed, a
12-year-old living in Miami, Florida who encounters the common struggles of middle school and
narrates her experiences in her diary. Little does she know, but she will one day become the
President of the United States. The show also follows the storylines of Elena’s mischievous
older brother, Bobby, and her mother, Gabi, who is a lawyer just starting to see someone after
losing her husband three years earlier.
Tess Romero, an up-and-coming actress, stars as Elena, the protagonist in the new
series. Romero is an eighth grader who grew up and still lives in Port Washington. She hopes
the show is entertaining to young viewers, but she also wants them to realize the bigger goal of
the show, which is to give a voice to underrepresented minorities in the television industry.
“I think it’s so important that we have more representation in media. Everyone should
be able to see someone who looks like themselves on screen being shown in a positive light. I
definitely think media as a whole has been better about diversity, and I’m so proud to be part of
a show that’s adding to that movement,” said Romero.
The show is produced by Gina Rodriguez, who is known for her role as Jane in the hit

television series Jane The Virgin. Rodriguez also stars as the future President Elena Cañero-
Reed in the flash-forward scenes. Like Romero, she hopes the show inspires those who feel

underrepresented. Not only that, but the cast also hopes that viewers will grasp the other large
message: any middle school student, male or female or white or Latin, has the potential to
become a world leader.
“I think this outlet is a great way to inspire young viewers and I can’t wait to see how far
this show goes,” said sophomore Amy Baxter.
Other notable, Latina cast members include Selenis Leyva from Orange Is The New
Black and Jessica Marie Garcia from On My Block and Liv and Maddie.
New episodes of Diary of a Future President are released weekly on Disney Plus. The
first season will have ten episodes in total. Although only three episodes have been released,
Schreiber students are already enjoying the show.
“Each episode ends with suspense and makes me want to watch more. I look forward
to new episodes every Friday,” said sophomore Ellie Shapiro.
Some of the popularity of the show can be accredited to the fact that it is relatable.

Elena encounters daily struggles that any student her age can relate to. This includes losing
friends, arguing with siblings, fitting in, and other changes that come with growing up.
Diary of a Future President brings something new to Disney. Unlike the typical Disney
show, the purpose is not solely entertainment for it ignites discussion amongst young viewers
about the real world struggle for representation.