Fernando Velasco

As interviewed by Julia Veri, March 21, 2015
"But the biggest reward is when I get letters from people, even if they didn't get a scholarship, letting me know that whatever we did here, at the club, it changed their life."
Fernando Velasco

Introductory Profile: About Fernando Velasco

My interviewee is named Fernando Velasco. I met Fernando when I went to a tennis camp over the summer in 2011. He was also my tennis coach when I came back to camp in 2012 and 2013. He was also my momís tennis coach when she first started tennis. We kept in touch ever since then. Fernando immigrated here from Bolivia, with his family, when he was 17 years old. He did this because his fatherís business was not doing well, so they needed a chance for better life. He got a scholarship to go to college in Montana. He already knew some English when he got here, but he went to special classes to learn to slow down and enunciate every word. He participated in gymnastics, soccer and tennis, and he was good at all of them. When he got out of college, he became a teacher. But, after a few years, he realized that he could make even more money doing what he loved: tennis. He began working at a club as a teacher to kids. After a couple months, he got promoted to everyday classes with adults then vice president. He was vice president for a long time, but then realized he would never become president because he was not American. He then quit that job and became manager of Grey Rock Tennis Club in Austin.

Fernando is 72 years old now and has a distinctive Spanish accent. He is kind, caring and thinks family is the most important thing a person can have. He likes to joke around and laugh when he plays tennis.

I covered the topic of immigrants being discriminated against when they come to the United States. I also covered discrimination of black people. The overall feeling of my interview is how rude people can be just for the color of your skin, or how you talk. Also, donít judge people on whatís on the inside, judge people on whatís on the outside. Fernando is still a tennis professional and has worked at the Grey Rock tennis club for over ten years and will hopefully be there for many years to come.