Carnival Cruises’ philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, has pledged a $5m donation to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami organisation. The donation has been made to help the organisation build the Carnival Center for Excellence. The donation, the largest ever received by the scheme, has been timed to celebrate National Mentoring Month.
The new Carnival Center for Excellence will become the headquarters for the organisations which places vulnerable children with older mentors (the Big Brothers or Big Sisters). The new center will provide ongoing mentorship and educational activities for the Littles (the name given to children entered into the programme).
The new headquarters will be based at 550 Le Jeune Road in Miami, opening in early 2016. The purchased was finalised earlier this week and the center will provide space for more than 50 full time staff members and will host a digital learning center, a library and meeting rooms. The building was selected due to its close proximity to public transport links – ideal for children from under-privileged backgrounds.
Lydia Muniz, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, enthused: “We are honored to be selected by the Carnival Foundation for this very generous investment in shaping the lives of Miami’s kids. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami’s purpose is to provide a personal hero to every child in need. The new Carnival Center for Excellence at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami will enable us to awaken new possibilities for more of Miami’s kids, and to ultimately make this city one where kids can build a brighter future.”
The Carnival Foundation organises a wide range of philanthropic initiatives including their own mentorship scheme wherein Carnival employees are selected to mentor high school students from South Florida. Carnival Foundation also awards four-year college scholarships to 15 participating students every year.
Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, explained: “We are a proud supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, and it is an honor to help them secure a permanent home at the Carnival Center for Excellence. Through this facility and the contributions of our volunteer mentors, we will continue to work together to make a real difference in the lives of deserving South Florida students for many years to come.”
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Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: platibo, Nicholas D.