A major summer concert has a special need for special needs students.
The Summer Meltdown Autism Awareness and Social Inclusion concert is a show here in Santa Clarita organized from top to bottom completely by local high school students in the “Yes I Can” program.
The “Yes I Can” program encourages the students involved to do everything from locking down bands, to designing websites, contacting sponsors and designing logos.
The thing that makes this concert so special is that it was produced by students with disabilities.
“We work together with mentors and students of all different disabilities and we throw the best concert in Santa Clarita that we can,” said Bret Lieberman faculty advisor for the Yes I Can Program at Golden Valley High School
Through this unique partnership high school students are given an opportunity to work with other students with disabilities and learn about tolerance, self-esteem and goal setting.
The program and the concert have grown since the first show in 2004. Lieberman says that the first show had only about 50 people attend but the 2008 show had just under 2000 people and raised almost $25,000 for the Yes I Can program.
In past years students have helped pull in big name bands like Trapt, Fishbone, and Smile Empty Soul, and this year is no exception as Shwayze leads the pack.
In addition to nationally recognized bands Summer Meltdown is also giving local bands like Evidence is Here and Renfue a chance to share the stage and help a good cause.
“It’s nice to be able to play a really big show where all the kids can have fun and all the money is going to a good cause and not just a production company,” said Sean Gunning guitarist for Evidence is Here.
The May 23 show is in connection with National Autism Month and is the culmination of an almost six month process by students and others.
The show is open anyone who wishes to attend with tickets available for purchase at local high schools and local stores.
For additional information on tickets and the show click here .