RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -

Hector Aviles is an eighth-grader at Raymond Cree Middle School. The soon-to-be freshman said he's ready to break in the new stage at Rancho Mirage High School and sing his heart out.

"The only instruments I play are my vocals," said Aviles.

To help students specialize in career pathways, including culinary and performing arts, Helene Galen, a local philanthropist and 35-year resident of Rancho Mirage, announced Tuesday that the Galen Family Foundation has pledged to make a $1.5 million donation to the high school's performing arts center.

Palm Springs Unified School District leaders said no Coachella Valley public grade school building has been named in a donor's honor until now.

"When I saw the performing arts building go up, I said, 'That's the one I want my name on,'" said Galen.

The building will be called the Helene Galen Center for the Performing Arts.

To seal the deal, Galen signed a $250,000 deposit check at RMHS, the first of a six-year installment from the Galen Family Foundation.

Galen said the money will cover the "extra things" students need.

"That means new costumes, new everything!" Aviles said.

Galen hopes students will learn that if you're lucky enough to get, you should give.

"It's not just luck, you have to make it work. They can take the experience they get here and do anything they want with their lives," she said.