Fourth Annual BNP Paribas Open Scholarships Awarded to Local High School Sudents

CAPTION (L-R): Coach Larry Salas (Coachella Valley High School); Jean-Yves Fillion (BNP Paribas); Emily Santillanes (Coachella Valley High School student and scholarship award recipient); Gilberto German (Coachella Valley High School student and scholarship award recipient); Nandita Bakhshi (Bank of the West), Art Sanchez (Coachella Valley High School Principal). BNP Paribas and Bank of the West Thursday awarded scholarships to four local students, doubling the number from previous years. The students were chosen based on their leadership skills, both on and off the tennis court.

BNP Paribas Open Scholarship Program Doubles In Size and Expands To Four Students

BNP Paribas and Bank of the West, global leaders in supporting both amateur and professional tennis, have awarded the fourth annual BNP Paribas Open Scholarships to Daniel Ramirez (Desert Mirage High School); Maria Lopez (Desert Mirage High School); Emily Santillanes (Coachella Valley High School); and Gilberto German (Coachella Valley High School).

“BNP Paribas is very happy to present these four outstanding students with scholarships,” said Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO of BNP Paribas USA and Chairman of CIB Americas. “Daniel, Maria, Emily and Gilberto have all made significant contributions both on and off the court to their respective communities, families and schools, as well as shown tremendous dedication to their studies. We are proud this year to expand our scholarships to help even more deserving students pursue their dreams.”

Each student received a $15,000 college grant on Thursday, March 14 at an event at their school and will be recognized today during an on-court presentation at the BNP Paribas Open, the largest combined WTA and ATP Tour event in the world. In 2019, the BNP Paribas Open Scholarship program was doubled in size, from two to four recipients.

“These young adults bring passion to all they do, and have demonstrated that they have the ability and ambition to set and achieve goals,” said Nandita Bakhshi, President and Chief Executive Officer at Bank of the West. “It is our hope that the BNP Paribas Open Scholarship will help provide these students with the opportunity to further their education and will assist in opening up a world of possibilities. Congratulations, Maria, Daniel, Gilberto, and Emily – we can’t wait to see what you do next.”

Daniel, a senior at Desert Mirage High School, excels not only in the classroom, but also in extracurricular activities such as Advanced Band and tennis. Demonstrating his leadership abilities by training new members of the team, Daniel was named captain of the tennis team his junior year. He plans to use this scholarship to help him pursue a degree in computer science at UCLA.

Maria has become an integral part of the Desert Mirage High School community, participating in organizations such as varsity tennis, varsity soccer, Aztec Dance, the Youth Organizing Council, Ram Squad Club and more. Maria has excelled in her coursework and hopes to parlay her work ethic into either a Nursing or Psychology degree at Cal State University San Marcos.

Emily has immersed herself in a variety of leadership roles at Coachella Valley High School by joining programs such as the School Site Council, Associate Student Body and the varsity tennis team. She plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Education and pursue her goal of teaching English abroad as a foreign language teacher.

As a member of the Coachella Valley High School varsity tennis team, Gilberto has developed a love and passion for the sport. Along with growing his game on-court, he has helped around the local community by volunteering as a ball boy at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden during the Oracle Challenger Series. Gilberto hopes to pursue a degree in either Chemistry or Law Enforcement at Imperial Valley College.

About the BNP Paribas Open

The BNP Paribas Open is the largest ATP Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world, and is held annually at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The tournament offers more than $15 million in prize money, and is the only event to provide the Hawk-Eye line challenge system on all match courts, including qualifying rounds. For more information, visit

For 2019, BNP Paribas and Bank of the West celebrated International Women’s Day in a partnership with the UN’s “HeForShe” movement which saw the back walls of Stadium 1 change colors to magenta on March 8, as well as $100 donations to UN Women for every ace served on the day and $10 donations to UN Women for every photo taken by participants who opted in to promote the movement. A total of $28,630 was made as a result of 244 Aces and 423 photos taken.

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 72 countries, with more than 202,600 employees, of which almost 155,000 in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services (whose retail-banking networks and financial services are covered by Retail Banking & Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which serves two client franchises: corporate clients and institutional investors. The Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates and institutional clients) to realize their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the European leader in consumer lending.

BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail-banking model in Mediterranean countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific.

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