BNP Paribas and Bank of the West continue their tradition of giving back to the local community.
On Wednesday, they announced their 6th annual BNP Paribas Scholarship winners from Coachella Valley high school. They awarded $20,000 each to tennis players Samantha Campos, Fernando Ruiz, Chavez, Justin Garnica, and Lydia Rodriguez. To earn the scholarships, each student had to play tennis, get good grades and give back to the community.
“I am really, really excited and I want to thank everybody for giving me this opportunity, it’s amazing.” – Samantha
“It’s gonna impact my whole life. I really can’t believe it, words cannot describe how I feel.” – Justin
“Immensely excited, It’s a very, very surreal feeling. It’s like crazy!” – Lydia
Nandita Bakhshi, President and CEO at Bank of the West, says that she sees herself in these kids. Continuing their hard work and dedication, Bakhshi believes the sky is the limit for these four scholarship recipients.
“I’m a big believer that we need to help individuals and it kind of starts young. You need a lot of hard work determination, perseverance, which I see here.”
Jean-Yves Fillion the CEO of BNP Paribas USA, echoes Bakhshi’s words of encouragement for the students and adds that helping them get an education is extremely important to BNP Paribas USA.
“Supporting brilliant, inspiring young adults, I believe it’s an investment that hopefully is rewarding for these young adults. I can tell you it’s amazingly rewarding for the bank.”
This scholarship program was founded by assistant BNP Paribas Open tournament director, Peggy Michel six years ago. Since then, it has been the BNP Paribas and Bank of the West’s focus to give back specifically to the east valley.
“I just kind of fell in love with the community and the high school and I just thought it was important. I saw how hard the parents have worked out here. A lot of them never had the opportunity to go to college, and they’re giving their children an opportunity to do that. I have a soft spot in my heart for Coachella Valley High School.”
These four students and their families represent the hard-working community of the east valley. Winning these generous scholarships will set their futures up for success.
“I’m very proud of my son for all the hard work he has put in tennis and school,” says Fernando’s dad, Adrian Ruiz. “I’m just very proud of everything he has accomplished.”
“It means the world,” says Lydia. “It means I have so much support behind not only from my parents but from my school from the BNP Paribas, which is a place that I’ve tried to go as many times as I can.”
“It means a lot because of the past few years and we’ve gone through,” Justin explains. “For the future ahead, it just is really going to help, the whole scholarship and that’s why I really want to give thanks to BNP Paribas for making this happen.”
All four students and their families will be officially awarded the scholarships on Saturday, March 19th right on stadium one, center court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.