Nearly 40 individuals with disabilities will receive career skills certificates during a ceremony Saturday at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons.
During the ceremony, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., participants in the Yes I Can Unity Through Music & Education program will receive certificates earned through the successful completion of career-skills courses offered by COC’s School of Personal & Professional Learning.
Singer-songwriter Adin Boyer will serve as keynote speaker. A top contestant on “American Idol,” Boyer will draw from his own experience as a creative living with autism. After earning a bachelor of fine arts from California Institute of the Arts, he released his debut EP in 2021. Boyer’s second EP, which will be released this year, amplifies the disability community and features other artists with disabilities.
Other presenters include:
- City of Santa Clarita Mayor Jason Gibbs, chair of the SCV Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals with Disabilities, who will talk about the value of hiring people with disabilities.
- James Fauntleroy, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer as well as co-founder of 1500 Sound Academy, who will share his role in helping train YIC students in music production, mixing, songwriting, business management and artist branding.
- John Prabhu, co-founder of LA North Studios, who will discuss the benefits of hiring YIC participants.
- Jake Arvizu, YIC participant and stage manager at LA North Studios, who will reflect on his experience working in the entertainment industry.
“Through partnerships, open-minded entertainment industry leaders and the hard work of our participants, Yes I Can turns the passions of creatives with disabilities into paychecks as they pursue their dream careers,” YIC Executive Director Bret Lieberman said in a prepared statement. “The individuals who will be recognized on Saturday have demonstrated a commitment to building the skills they need to be exceptional employees.”
YIC is dedicated to providing quality career skills training and employment services to adults with disabilities interested in pursuing employment opportunities within the entertainment industry, the release said.
Careers pursued by YIC students include music production, sound design, screenwriting, animation, visual special effects, voiceover, digital media, graphic design, computer app development, video game design, prop design, craft services, and TV/film production and post-production.