MIAMI, May 17th – The Miami HEAT hosted an end-of-year celebration for 354 HEAT Academy students at AmericanAirlines Arena on Thursday, May 16th.
The afternoon was a carnival-style event with food, fun, and excitement for students, guests and HEAT Academy Volunteers. During the festivities, Carnival Corporation & plc and Carnival Foundation presented a check in the amount of $171,000 to the Florida Prepaid College Foundation for scholarships benefiting HEAT Academy students. Fifteen fifth-grade HEAT Academy students who go on to participate in the Carnival Scholarship and Mentoring program will become eligible for a scholarship, which matures in 2026, the fifth-grade class’ expected graduating year. This marks the 17th consecutive year that Carnival has funded the scholarships, and during this time the company has purchased 255 scholarships with a total value of more than $3.8 million.
HEAT Players, Bam Adebayo and Josh Richardson along with HEAT Legend, Alonzo Mourning, were in attendance. Scheduled activities included performances by the HEAT Dancers, Burnie, Hoop Troop and Uptown Dale. Lunch was provided by Papa John’s, Pepsi and Gatorade. The AmericanAirlines Arena Xfinity East Plaza was also transformed into a HEAT Fun Zone with inflatables, games, face painting, popcorn, cotton candy and more.
The Carnival Scholarships, developed in collaboration with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, enable 15 students who are currently enrolled in HEAT Academy and go on to participate in the Carnival Scholarship and Mentoring Program to be eligible for a four-year tuition scholarship to an accredited Florida college or university of their choice upon graduating high school. Florida Prepaid College Foundation provides a matching donation to fund these scholarships. In March, the tenth HEAT Academy / Carnival Scholarship and Mentoring Program graduating class was awarded 16 Carnival Scholarships. Carnival has presented 151 students with scholarships over the past ten years.
The following executives attended the event:
- Lorrie-Ann Diaz, The HEAT Group, Vice President of Business Communications and Social Responsibility
- Linda Coll, Carnival Corporation, Executive Director of Carnival Foundation
- Linda Amica-Roberts, Administrative Director, School Operations at Miami-Dade County Public Schools
- Senator Ron Silver, Florida Prepaid College Foundation
- Martha De La Peña Rojas, Florida Blue, Regional Corporate Social Responsibility
Miami HEAT PA, Michael Baiamonte, served as the emcee.
About Carnival Foundation
Carnival Foundation is dedicated to creating positive change through empowering youth, enhancing education and strengthening families in the communities where Carnival employees live and work. Through monetary and in-kind donations, innovative philanthropic programs, employee fundraisers and hands-on volunteer initiatives, the foundation supports hundreds of organizations annually with primary funding focused in the areas of the arts, human needs, education and health. www.carnivalfoundation.com