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Building Wonder And A Culture of Philanthropy: An Interview With Manny Padda

Recently, thanks to a generous donation to the Wonder campaign from the Padda family, Science World is closer than ever to reaching its $2.2 million goal for our much-anticipated Wonder Gallery.

This early-learners gallery is being designed according to leading-edge research in cognitive development for children aged 0-5 years. It is a place where children and their adults can nurture and develop a love of learning together, through play and experimentation. There is no place like it in the city and it's all thanks to people like Manny who are committed to contributing to initiatives like Wonder and developing a culture of philanthropy among their peers. 

In this interview, Manny shares his motivation for giving and for encouraging others to follow his lead. 

SW: Your commitment to supporting children and education is remarkable. Can you tell us what it is about this cause that inspires you to get involved?

Education has been something that has become the basis for me building my career. Each step allowed me to further my career. I truly believe that education is the best way to lift people from poverty. The more we educate, the more we impact.

SW: You’ve mentioned that your parents were key in establishing your deep appreciation for education. Can you tell us about how they inspired you?

My parents were immigrants from India who came here to build themselves. They were well educated in India but instead decided to work in sawmills & retail to provide for their kids. They focused heavily on our studies and ensured that we all had at least master’s level degrees (or Doctorate for my siblings)

SW: Were you a regular visitor of Science Centres when you were a child?

We lived on Vancouver Island so unfortunately did not have a chance to make it to Science World. My nephews, nieces and son however have enjoyed the facility tremendously.

SW: What’s got you excited about the Wonder Gallery?

I had a chance to have a tour of the new facility and it is exciting to see the vision of what is getting built. The original gallery is wonderful however has become outdated. The new gallery will challenge kids and allow them to learn at a new level.

SW: You are not only an active philanthropist, but an advocate of building a culture of philanthropy amongst other young entrepreneurs. How do you see this culture evolving in the future?

Education has a multiply effect that pure donations cannot match. If we educate a million entrepreneurs and teach them the importance of giving back then they can spread their knowledge.

SW: What inspires you to give back to charitable institutions like Science World?

The focus on learning and education. I believe education is the building blocks to a strong foundation and allows children to open their minds, be creative, and as they mature, build new ideas we can implement in society.

Wonder is scheduled to open its doors to British Columbia’s youngest learners in early March and we are very near to our goal. It’s not too late to #HelpBuildWonder!