Cathedral Catholic freshman Daniella Benitez has been chosen as an ambassador for the San Diego Aviators World Team Tennis (WTT) team. Her role will be to help market the team through social media to get more people to attend San Diego Aviator matches throughout the season.
It’s a dream come true for Benitez, whose love of tennis began at any early age. She started playing at 9 years old with her coach, April Bisharat, a former professional tennis player and founder of Love 15 Tennis, an instructional tennis program for children and adults. In fact, Benitez was Bisharat’s very first student.
Benitez is happy to be using her talents off the court to promote a sport she loves to play. “I love that I feel free when I’m playing tennis and I get to use my talents to play a sport that fits me. When I play tennis, I get to work so many parts of my body and it is very exciting and makes me feel powerful. With every sprint, I feel strong and with every stroke, I feel control.”
It was through Bisharat that Benitez learned of the ambassador position. Benitez was attending a charity clinic event sponsored by Love Fifteen Tennis when she met some players from the Aviators World Team. She was invited to apply to the ambassador program and was accepted along with 15 other San Diego teens.
“As an ambassador, I will play sort of a marketing role and use my voice, including my social media Instagram account (@daniellamariebenitez), to help get other people excited to attend the fun matches,” explains Benitez. “I will also be getting the chance to help work all of the matches this summer. Each match, I will be assigned a different job and will get a different viewpoint on what it takes to run these matches, which is exciting!”
Benitez represents the core values of dedication and teamwork that tennis fosters. She is on the Cathedral Catholic High School tennis team and plays in United States Tennis Association (USTA) Junior tournaments.
The San Diego Aviators is part of World Team Tennis, and 2019 marks its sixth year on the court. The team plays at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa each summer. This year, its home season runs from July 14 to July 31.
Bisharat and Benitez are also involved in a humanitarian effort to build houses for people in Mexico through a nonprofit called Build a Miracle, or BAM. Bisharat raised more than a thousand dollars for the nonprofit through her charity clinic event.
“I look up to April when it comes to all things tennis, and she has been a part of my team for both houses that I have organized with BAM,” says Benitez, “helping to raise the money and to come down and help us build the homes.”
Benitez can’t say enough about the nonprofit and its life-changing mission. “Personally, I just love everything about Build a Miracle! The founders, Chris and Julianne North, are my heroes. They have dedicated over 20 years to being down in Tijuana every weekend to build miracles. I love the part where I get to spread awareness about an important cause. What Build A Miracle does is so beautiful because the family is not only getting a home, but they are getting a whole community. I’ve gotten so hooked on helping and getting to spend days with what have become second families to me.”
The passionate freshman plans on continuing to raise funds to build more houses in Mexico throughout her high-school years. Beyond that, she’s not quite sure what she wants to pursue as a career, although she has ruled out professional tennis. “Honestly, I still do not know what I want to do in life or what I want to go to college for, but I am so excited that I can really choose any path and I can’t wait to see what life has in store for me.”
To learn more about the San Diego Aviators or to buy tickets for their matches, go to aviatorstickets.com. If you’d like to learn more about the nonprofit Build a Miracle, go to buildamiracle.net.