RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -

Every time Shaunae Boucher walks into the Helene Galen Performing Arts Center at Rancho Mirage High School...   

"When I transferred here, I was at La Quinta High School before, I was almost in tears how amazing it all is," Boucher said. 

Not only does she get emotional - she steps toward her future. 

"I'm looking toward becoming an actress or working inside the box office inside a professional theater," Boucher said. 

Local philanthropist Helene Galen pledged $1.5 million for the Performing Arts Center. 

"I think the idea of getting on a stage, learning how to articulate the presence, whether you go into the field or not. It's important to get their presence known," Galen said. 

Local dignitaries and politicians,  including Senator Barbara Boxer, gathered in the theater for a dedication ceremony.

"The arts are very important in our children's lives. They can save lives and changes lives and prepares you for the world," Senator Boxer said. 

The words on the front of this building don't just represent the generous Helene Galen, they represent all the ways the money will change the theater department.

"Sets, costumes, more lighting. Plays, the rights to performances which are really expensive that you buy from New York," Performing Arts Chair Andrew Eisenmann said. 

Boucher teared up again as we talk about Galen's donation.

"Just thinking about how lucky I am to have found a thing like this," she said.