Four Coachella Valley High School students received scholarships from BNP Paribas and Bank of West.
On Wednesday, the banks hosted a special event at Coachella Valley High School in Thermal to award its 6th Annual BNP Paribas Open scholarships to Samantha Campos, Fernando Ruiz-Chavez, Justin Garnica, and Lydia Rodriguez.
The students are part of CVHS' Class of 2022. They all also play tennis for the school, on top of excelling academically and helping out in the community.
Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO of BNP Paribas USA, and Nandita Bakhshi, CEO of Bank of the West, were on hand for the ceremony.
“As BNP Paribas and Bank of the West assist our clients and customers with their banking needs, they place their trust in us and we are committed to giving back to them and our communities. To give back to the Coachella Valley community after years of hosting the BNP Paribas Open, we are very proud to offer scholarships to tennis-playing students who have excelled through hard work and dedication,” Fillion said. “Congratulations to Samantha, Fernando, Justin, and Lydia who have not only worked so hard to achieve this success both on and off the court but also showed us what it means to give back to their families, their school, and their community.”
Each student received a $20,000 college grant on Wednesday. They will also be recognized during an on-court presentation at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday, March 19.
“Samantha, Fernando, Justin and Lydia demonstrate that true success is not just about what you achieve, but how you use your success to help those around you,” Bakhshi said. “We believe these student leaders at Coachella Valley High School will use the BNP Paribas Open Scholarship to bring to the college arena their exceptional passion, drive, resilience and compassion– qualities that we value at BNP Paribas and Bank of the West.”
The BNP Paribas Open scholarship grant amount increased this year, going from $15,000 to $20,000 per student.
- Samantha has been enrolled in five Advanced Placement classes, five honors classes and maintains a 4.0 grade point average (“GPA”). As a member of the varsity tennis team since 2020, she won second place in doubles at the Desert Valley League Championship and earned her way into the California Interscholastic Federation. Over the past six years, Samantha has participated in Raices Cultura, a non-profit that seeks to empower local residents through artistic self-expression and cultural inclusivity, and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a program which prepares students for college. She has been recognized with awards such as the Renaissance Award for Outstanding Citizenship, the Academic Excellence Patch and the Junior Varsity Athletic Award. Samantha plans to earn her Master’s Degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego.
- Fernando has been enrolled in Advance Placement coursework and currently has a 4.0 GPA. He has played tennis with his high school team since 2020 and is known for giving guidance to incoming athletes. Since 2015, Fernando has volunteered for organizations like World Harvest Ministries, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Warm-Up America where he helped provide food and supplies to those in need. He continues to participate in AVID to prepare for college. Fernando has been awarded the Varsity Athletic Award for tennis, The Most Inspirational Player, the Certificate of Excellence for his academic performance, and the Academic Excellence Patch for two years consecutively. He hopes to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of San Diego or California State Polytechnic University.
- Justin currently has a 3.75 GPA and is a member of his high school AP Club as well as the Associated Student Body where he is known for his interpersonal and leadership skills. He is Captain of his varsity tennis team and president of the Tennis Club. Justin has volunteered for community service at professional tennis tournaments like the Oracle Challenger Series and the BNP Paribas Open for initiatives like Kids Day. He has earned various awards including the Academic Excellence Patch and the Athletic Awards, both for three years consecutively. His tennis accolades include the MAS Award for Varsity Tennis, Most Inspirational Player and Most Improved Player. Justin plans to pursue a college education in Public Health so he can apply the leadership and active listening skills he’s learned while responding to the needs of his community.
- Lydia has been enrolled in four Advanced Placement courses, four honors classes and maintains a 4.3 GPA. As a senior, she is Captain of her high school varsity tennis team, voted ‘Most Valuable Player’ all four years, and has an undefeated record. She helped her tennis team win the Desert Valley League Championship tournament four years consecutively and has helped to recruit future teammates. Lydia is Treasurer of the Young Women Empowerment Club where she has advocated for women’s social issues since 2019. She is also a member of the Advanced Chorus Club and the Associated Student Body where she helped organize virtual events. Lydia has been awarded the Academic Excellence Patch, as well as the Varsity Athletic Award and Vicki Berner ‘Heart & Spirit Award’ for tennis. Lydia plans to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara to become a Speech Language Pathologist.