BNP Paribas Announces Second Annual Scholarships For Local High School Tennis Players

Diego Cieja; Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO of BNP Paribas USA and Head of Americas CIB; and Alyssa Alvarez. © 2017 Billie Weiss/BNP Paribas Open

Two Students From Indio High School Each Receive $15,000 And Honored At Tournament

BNP Paribas, a global leader in supporting both amateur and professional tennis, has announced it is awarding its second annual scholarships to Alyssa Alvarez and Diego Ceja, both students at Indio High School. They will each receive a $15,000 college grant, and the scholarships was awarded on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open, the largest WTA and ATP World Tour combined two-week event in the world.

"BNP Paribas is thrilled to present these two outstanding students with these scholarships," said Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO of BNP Paribas USA and Head of Americas CIB. "Alyssa and Diego have both shown exceptional commitment to the sport of tennis and are both very dedicated students. We are proud to help them as they move towards, I am certain, very bright futures."

Alyssa has shown true inspiration throughout her life, overcoming spinal meningitis, which was diagnosed when she was in sixth grade. Through perseverance she made her school tennis team, eventually becoming the captain. Armed with that same determination, Alyssa studied hard and continues to be an honor roll student. Upon graduation, Alyssa plans to attend UC San Diego where she wants to study biological science. Her hope is to become a pediatrician to help those who are physically restricted. She will be the first person in her family to attend college.

Diego, a natural leader with a "can do" attitude, has dove into tennis and school work with energy and commitment. A giver, he dedicates his free time to helping others within the community – be that volunteering at a local school or organizing events at Indio Valley High School. Diego hopes to attend Cal-State San Bernardino, where he would like to study Kinesiology and eventually become a physical therapist.

In recognition of their achievements, Alyssa and Diego will be honored on court this Saturday at the BNP Paribas Open.

"These scholarships are a great example of BNP Paribas’ using their involvement with the tournament to have a positive influence on the broader community in the Coachella Valley,” said Peggy Michel, Assistant Tournament Director of the BNP Paribas Open. “We are sure that these generous scholarships will help Alyssa and Diego to fulfill their future goals, as well as many deserving recipients in years to come.”

Over and above BNP Paribas’ partnerships at all levels of the game—as the largest sponsor of tennis-- BNP Paribas’ commitment to the sport of tennis is also reflected in a wide range of social and education activities across the tennis world, including the “We are Tennis Solidaire” program, and closer to home, as sponsor of the CityParks Tennis program in New York. Beyond the sphere of tennis, BNP Paribas has been engaged in major philanthropy initiatives for 30 years through its Foundation, focusing its activities on three main areas: the Arts, Social Inclusion and the Environment – giving over $40 million Euros a year.