Tony Meléndez, an armless man whose guitar performance has spanned the globe, struck an inspiring chord with upper school students when he shared his musical talent and motivational message at the first Leadership Lecture of the 2012-2013 school year.
To the amazement of freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors assembled in the gymnasium October 4 for the special program, the Nicaraguan American guitar player, composer, singer, and songwriter who was born without arms and with a club foot, played the guitar with his feet.
The award-winning musician accompanied by members of his band, also engaged the student body with his inspirational message of self-acceptance and perseverance. "I turn pages in a book, string a guitar, and tune it with my feet,” said Meléndez. “What a hand can do, this foot can simulate. If I can turn something like that into a positive, I believe you can, too. I encourage you to just keep trying.”
The motivational speaker and musician performs more than 150 concerts a year worldwide and is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including multiple Unity Awards for Male Vocalist of the Year, the Branson Entertainment Award for Best New Artist, and the Inspirational Hero Award from the NFL Alumni Association. Meléndez has performed for Pope John Paul II and has additionally received special commendations from the State of California for his work with young people, as well as former President Ronald Reagan who recognized Meléndez as “a positive role model for America."
A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.