At Desert Mirage High School, the marching band, the cheerleaders, and the school's ballet Folklorico kicked off a very special ceremony. Students, parents, and teachers gathered in the auditoriums to celebrate four seniors each receiving a $20,000 scholarship from BNP Paribas.
Stephanie De La Rosa, Daniel Fernandes, Jose Hernandez, and Caitlin Hill are not only talented tennis players but are all graduating with high honors.
Hill is the first-ever student trustee for the Coachella Valley Unified School District. She has been playing tennis since her freshman year and plans to attend UC Irvine to become an aerospace engineer.
“Super excited and happy, really relieves the financial burden and I get to choose a school-based off the program rather than just financial needs,” Hill said.
Fernandez is the team captain for the 2023 varsity tennis, dances in the school ballet Folklorico, and plans to attend UC Berkeley to major in psychology.
“I was so surprised at how honorable it is to actually obtain one because it's such a big deal. Once I got there it felt so surreal," Fernandez said.
Hernandez is a first-generation student with a 4.5 GPA. He plans to study mechanical engineering at College of the Desert.
“It’s going to help me because I'm low income and so it's going to support me it got extended to $20K, Hernandez said.
De La Rosa has been in varsity tennis since her freshman year, is part of the Ballet Folklorico dance club, and hopes to obtain a degree from UC Irvine in Economic Development.
“So it will definitely help me with housing as college is getting more expensive so just having the resource for me will be a great hello,” De La Rosa said.
The CEO of BNP Paribas USA Jean-Yves Fillion personally congratulated the four students and says giving back to the community is what they’re all about.
“There is nothing more important than education in life and then these scholarships to will provide and help them accomplish their dreams and from what I've seen today they’re skilled,” Fillon said.
The recipients were chosen for their academic excellence and for being great role models. They will be recognized this Saturday on the court in front of thousands of tennis fans.
“This year, we would like to do more, on Saturday they will be handing out the trophy to the double winners and I'm sure they will do a wonderful job," Fillon said.
News Channel 3's Blake Arthur and Bailey Arredondo will have complete coverage of this year's tournament.