INVESTING IN INNOVATION, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, AND FINANCIAL AID
With excitement and gratitude, we announce a $1 million gift from Kia and Manny Vivar to the Together We Can: Elevate Highlanders Campaign.
The Vivars’ gift is a remarkable investment in innovation and entrepreneurship at Lake Highland. Their gift will name the Vivar Student Union in the new Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics, a transformative 71,000 square foot facility that will offer exceptional spaces for Highlanders to learn, collaborate, and create. The Vivars’ gift will also establish the Vivar Financial Aid Endowment, opening the doors of this new facility and all the opportunities of a Lake Highland education to talented and deserving students unable to afford tuition.
When Manny and Kia learned of the plans for Lake Highland’s new innovation building, they knew they wanted to help make it happen. Manny, a tech entrepreneur, founded his company, HostDime, at age 20 with just $60 and a passion for innovation. The Vivars saw the Elevate Highlanders Campaign as a chance to help build spaces and programs that would foster the next generation of entrepreneurs.
“We are currently building a world-class data center along I-4,” Manny shared, “and we’re including a technology lab where students from all over Central Florida can get a hands-on, internet technology experience – to see how things work behind the scenes of the ‘cloud.’ Giving this sort of exposure to inspire young people has been a focal point for HostDime. We saw how Lake Highland’s vision aligned with ours, and we knew right away we had to help. The Elevate Highlanders Campaign will build an environment where students will be inspired to do things beyond their imagination!”
Upper School Director Derek Daly shared, “From the first moment I met the Vivars, it was clear they were inspired by what we do at Lake Highland. We are equally inspired by their energy and passion for our school. Their incredibly generous gift will help create exceptional learning spaces that will motivate Highlanders to dream, create, and pursue lifelong learning.”
Every space in the Porter Family Center is designed to inspire and ignite. The second floor Innovation Institute features a state-of-the-art central makerspace surrounded by interdisciplinary teaching labs for engineering and design, robotics, physics, computer science, and more. Throughout the building, collaboration zones and study nooks offer unique spaces for students to meet and exchange ideas. On the ground floor is the Vivar Student Union, a distinctive and vibrant space that will serve as the center of student life at Lake Highland.
For Manny and Kia, helping fund the project was not enough. They also wanted to be sure talented, motivated students from all backgrounds can access the opportunities created there. As part of their gift, Manny and Kia are establishing the Vivar Financial Aid Endowment. “While we are excited for this amazing academic facility that our children and fellow Highlanders will experience, we also wanted to help bring this opportunity to those children who don’t have the financial means but are just as deserving. That was extremely important to our family,” Kia shared.
Susan Clayton, VP of Advancement, expressed gratitude for the Vivars’ powerful investment that will impact countless lives, “Thank you, Manny and Kia, for your extraordinary philanthropy that offers transformative opportunities to deserving, capable students from all backgrounds, enabling them to achieve their greatest potential.”
Lake Highland is in the early stages of the Elevate Highlanders Campaign. The Campaign includes three transformative capital projects – (1) Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics; (2) Multisport Facility and Field Renovation at the Lake Highland Athletic Complex; and (3) The Arts District – along with a focus on growing Lake Highland’s endowment.
We invite you to learn more about the Elevate Highlanders Campaign and how you can make an impact. Please contact a member of our Advancement team for more information, including available naming opportunities.