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Special needs students hope to meet Bon Jovi during his SLC concert

By Faith Heaton Jolley | Posted - Apr 14th, 2013 @ 9:20am

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — After using his song as a school year theme, one group of special needs students are hoping to meet rockstar, Jon Bon Jovi during his concert in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.

The students are part of the Alpine Transition Education Center (Atech) at the Horizon West campus in Saratoga Springs. Ranging in age from 18 to 22, the students enter the program after high school and learn independent living skills, social skills, and learn to find employment.

The teachers and staff chose Bon Jovi's popular song, "It's My Life" to use as a theme and motto for the students and have based many of their lessons around the lyrics.

"Teachers and staff are able to use the theme with students to help them overcome problems, and to help them wrap their mind around how to deal with life situations," said teacher, Jacob Figueira. "It is teaching them to take control of their lives, and advocate for themselves, shoot for their dreams."

During the course of the school year, the students decided that they would like to meet Bon Jovi when he came to Utah for a concert on Wednesday, April 17. Figueria said that the students want to thank Bon Jovi for "inspiring them."

In order to gain publicity, the students created a Facebook page and several Youtube videos to promote their cause and hopefully raise awareness to Bon Jovi of their wish to meet him. They also sent a package to him with personal letters they had written, and a T-shirt they had made.

An anonymous individual donated 30 Bon Jovi concert tickets to the students after hearing of their cause. Although several of the students will not be able to attend due to physical restrictions, Figueria said the rest of the students are very excited for the event.

"The students have worked really hard to get to meet Bon Jovi," Figueria said. "They have held signs on the side of the road, talked to radio stations."

The students will attend the Bon Jovi concert at the Energy Solutions Arena on Wednesday and are hopeful that they will get to meet him backstage.

"It would be a dream come true for them," said teacher Sherri Williams. "These guys just want to be recognized as equal individuals. Just seeing him or getting an autograph &mdah; anything would mean anything to these students. Who wouldn't want to meet someone that has made a difference in their life?"


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