Elvena Gevargiz – Santa Clara Tennis

“Tennis has taught me so much throughout my life. It taught me to persevere, dream big, stay humble and work hard. These things have not only helped me on the court but off the court as well. Nothing in life is given to us on a silver platter. My parents have always told me that my dreams won’t work unless I do, and that’s definitely something I live by. I’ve come across so many different people throughout my years playing tennis – People who have supported me, and those who have tried to pull me down. Your dreams aren’t big enough if they don’t scare you, so dream big and prove everyone who doubted you wrong.”

“Now that I’m 21 years old and have overcome many challenges and obstacles, I think I’d tell my younger self that the journey is never easy and to never give up. As someone who has grown closer to my religion and God within the last year or so, I have become a stronger person mentally. In my first year of college, I struggled a lot mentally. I had to move from Las Vegas back to California with my parents about two months before my freshman year. I lost my grandfather on the third day of classes. I had a really hard time fitting in with the people around me.”

“Looking back at that year now, as I am about to become a Senior, I realized that that was just a season I had to grow through. As much as I wanted to quit because life got bumpy,  I didn’t and I’m here now, stronger and more determined than ever. It’s not about how life knocks you down but how you get back up. So fall, and stand up taller than you did before. 

“Outside of tennis I’m very passionate about making the world a better place. As a sociology major at SCU, I’m planning on going to grad school to master in criminology/criminal justice. I’ve always felt that I have a calling to help people as well as fight for what I believe in. Considering what has happened within the last few months, I’ve become even more passionate about ending racial inequality.”

“It’s so important that we work towards making a change and making that change now. I think it’s very important that all athletes use their platforms to spread awareness on a wide range of topics. No matter what sport you play or how good you are,  it’s important to stand up and serve as a role model for the future generations. We have the privilege of having our voices be heard for those whose cries are silenced. If not us, who? If not now, when?”

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