Making wishes come true through music

MELE students create a special experience for Skyla

Honolulu Community College
Billie K T Lueder, (808) 845-9187
Director of Communications, Chancellor's Office
Posted: Feb 2, 2016

Skyla in studio with the MELE students.
Skyla in studio with the MELE students.
Getting a feel for the studio.
Getting a feel for the studio.

Being diagnosed with lupus at the age of 13, Skyla is not your typical 17-year-old Big Island girl. It was during her early high school years at Honoka‘a High that she discovered a music ensemble class, finding comfort, hope and strength. Skyla’s love of music has helped her cope with her daily battle with the autoimmune disease.

After making a connection with Make-a-Wish® Hawai'i about a year ago, “wish coordinators” have been hard at work to make Skyla’s wish of having a professional studio recording experience come true.

While Skyla’s wish is to ultimately have that experience in Los Angeles or New York City, her wish coordinators discovered a prime opportunity right here at home to give Skyla the professional recording experience she so deserved, planning a surprise visit to Honolulu Community College’s Music and Entertainment Learning Experience (MELE) program to take place around a routine medical trip to O‘ahu. Skyla was warmly greeted by the MELE students and wasted no time getting settled in to the state-of-the-art Mike Curb MELE studio to record Drops of Jupiter.

"It’s common for MELE students to get excited with the glamour, money and entertainment aspect of the music industry.  This is fine, but ultimately we want our students to experience and record music that inspires, heals and tells life stories.  Skyla's willingness and courage to share her gift of music and life story has taught our students the true power and impact of recording a moment in time together that will last a lifetime and beyond.  Mahalo, Skyla, for your grace and inspiration, MELE has been blessed," shared John Vierra, MELE program coordinator and audio engineering instructor.

For a moment in time, Skyla was free, doing what she loves – creating music with peers who love to do the same. As tears welled up in her eyes, Skyla’s mother, May, watched her daughter in action. “Music has brought joy back into her life.”

To learn more about Make-A-Wish Hawai’i, visit them at  Photo Credit: Darcy Fiero.