With plenty of extra time on his hands as the COVID-19 pandemic forced a pause in his athletic season, San Marino High School graduate Bryce Pereira thought he would take a swing at a different type of project.
A senior at UCLA and member of the Bruin men’s tennis team, Pereira answered the call when the university’s student-athletes were invited to weigh in on an important matter: design a patch that called attention to social justice and would be affixed to every uniform.
“Since I had a lot of free time over quarantine, I decided to create my own design,” said Pereira, who, incidentally, majors in political science. “My idea behind the design was to not target one social issue specifically, but to address multiple. So I came up with the slogans ‘We stand for’ and ‘We stand together.’”
Pereira added a few concepts he said were “important to me personally” that included “We stand for, unity, respect, tolerance, equality, racial injustice, fairness and mental health.’
UCLA’s Black Student Athlete Alliance was in charge of choosing the patch. Pereira’s and another student’s designs were the top vote-getters, and the BSAA decided to combine his words and idea with another patch and “clean things up,” according to Pereira. The patch now adorns all uniforms worn by UCLA student-athletes.
“I also feel very strongly about all the words that we stand for,” said Pereira. “I took a good bit of time thinking of some words that could go well with the patch. I thought that by helping with the design for a patch, I can help bring awareness to these issues that many people in the world fight for and stand for.”
The son of Stephanie and Melwin Pereira — who is also SMHS’ boys’ and girls’ varsity tennis coach — Bryce has received dozens of awards in the sport, including SMHS athlete of the year for 2017, when he graduated and was inducted into the school’s hall of fame.
He was named to the UCLA Athletic Director’s Honor Roll from 2017-20 and is a member of the Bruin Athletic Advisory Committee and the prestigious Wooden Academy from 2017 to the present.
The UCLA tennis team paused activities in March and hopes to be back in action soon, but the NCAA has offered players a fifth year, should Pereira choose to stay on.
Bryce’s sister, Alexis, was also a Division I athlete at Texas Christian University, where she played tennis for four years until graduating in 2018.