Tierra del Sol Foundation Teams with Henry Rodriguez State Farm to Bring Awareness to Teen Drivers Safety and Drivers with Autism

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Tierra del Sol Foundation and other Santa Clarita Valley community organizations, including Union Bank and Southern California Edison, will partner with Henry Rodriguez State Farm® for Celebrate My Drive™ on September 15, 2012, at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, CA.

Families across the Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) are invited to a celebration of safe teen driving. Tierra del Sol Foundation (Tierra del Sol) and other SCV community organizations, including Union Bank and Southern California Edison, will partner with Henry Rodriguez State Farm® for Celebrate My Drive™ on September 15, 2012, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at College of the Canyons in the Student Center, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, in Santa Clarita, CA. The event provides an opportunity for the community to support teen and adult drivers with autism as they prepare for the road ahead.

Tierra del Sol offers an array of programs to help individuals with disabilities become productive, thriving members of the community, participate in everyday experiences, attend community college classes, and earn gainful employment. Tierra del Sol’s clients hold volunteer, internship, or employment positions while others are engaged in meaningful activities where they learn everyday living and other important skills.

Among Tierra del Sol’s acclaimed, comprehensive offerings is its innovative program, Safe Driving for Teenagers and Adults with Autism. Per mile driven, teenage drivers without a known disability between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to be involved in a crash. While little is known about how autism affects a person’s ability to drive safely, with an increase in the rate of children born with autism, currently 1 in every 88 children, there is a need for structured programming in this area.

“At Tierra del Sol, we believe that with the right support, people with disabilities can make great contributions to society,” says Steve Miller, Executive Director of Tierra del Sol. “If you consider that some individuals with autism experience impairments in social interaction, communications, motor skills, and coordination, it follows that teenagers with autism will need additional assistance in becoming successful and safe drivers.”

“Bringing awareness to teen driving safety is a high priority for us,” adds State Farm agent Henry Rodriguez. “And we want to celebrate the abilities of those with autism who are learning to drive and are capable of doing so safely. We’re proud to partner with Tierra del Sol Foundation to help share this important message.”

As part of Celebrate My Drive™, State Farm® is giving away 14 $100,000 grants to schools across the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, students between the ages of 15-18 can register on the Celebrate My Drive™ website to win one of 14 new cars each time they vote online.

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Susan Chapman
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