BNP Paribas and subsidiary Bank of the West, global leaders in supporting both amateur and professional tennis, have awarded the fifth annual BNP Paribas Open Scholarships to Palm Springs High School students Ryan Romero, Reese Buchanan, Lillian Barranco-Ramirez and Emunah Daffon. Although the 2020 BNP Paribas Open was not held, the scholarships were still awarded to the deserving winners virtually. Each student received a $15,000 college grant to assist them in their academic pursuits during the 2020-2021 school year.
“BNP Paribas is very happy to present these four outstanding students with scholarships,” said Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO of BNP Paribas USA. “Ryan, Reese, Lillian and Emunah are tremendous young men and women who have made incredible contributions to their schools, communities and families. We are proud to support them in the next phase of their lives as they embark upon what are sure to be bright futures.”
“During these challenging times, we are pleased to recognize and honor these individuals for their tremendous achievements and their continued focus and drive,” said Nandita Bakhshi, President and Chief Executive Officer at Bank of the West. “The BNP Paribas Open Scholarship illustrates our continued commitment to our communities and will enable these students to pursue their dreams and open up a world of possibilities, both in and out of the classroom. We look forward to following their journeys.”
Ryan excels not only in the classroom, but also in extracurricular activities such as varsity tennis and basketball. He volunteers his time in physical therapy sessions to help others and plans to use this scholarship to pursue his goal of attending medical school and becoming a surgeon. Ryan will attend the University of California San Diego this fall.
Reese was an integral part of the Palm Springs High School community, participating in sports such as varsity tennis, soccer and cross-country, as well as serving as the Vice President of the school’s Garden Club and Historian of the Rotary Club. Reese plans to pursue a Biomedical Engineering degree in college to provide for his family and improve the livelihood of those closest to him. He will attend the University of California, Santa Barbara beginning in August.
Lillian immersed herself in both sports and academics while at Palm Springs High School, participating in varsity tennis and soccer while simultaneously volunteering at organizations involved in youth football and little league baseball. She will begin her college education this August at Cal State Long Beach, where all classes have been moved online in light of the ongoing pandemic. Lillian plans to obtain her bachelor’s degree in biology before attending medical school to become a doctor.
As a three-year member of the Palm Springs High School varsity tennis team, Emunah has been a shining example of a hardworking and committed student-athlete. She will embark on her collegiate career this August at College of the Desert, where she will also continue her career in tennis. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emunah will begin her education in a virtual environment, while her freshman year tennis season will now take place in the spring of 2021. During this period of uncertainty, Emunah has been focusing on improving her health and fitness, and enjoying the extended time with her family.
The sixth annual BNP Paribas Open Scholarships will be awarded during the 2021 BNP Paribas Open, set to take place on March 8 – 21, 2021.