THE FLATS – Georgia Tech women’s tennis star Victoria Flores was named the recipient of the 2021 ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award, as announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on Thursday.
In its fourth year, the ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award, endowed by Billie Jean King, was created to honor a recent college graduate who played college tennis and demonstrated excellence on and off the court, leadership on their team, as well as leadership on campus and in their community. Flores will be honored with a postgraduate scholarship along with an engraved gift to commemorate her accomplishments. Additionally, the Georgia Tech women’s tennis program will receive a $1,000 donation from the ITA in her honor. Flores becomes the first Yellow Jacket to win the prestigious award.
“An important part of the ITA’s annual work centers on our awards program, one of the most robust in all of college sports,” ITA CEO Dr. Timothy Russell said. “The ITA Ann Lebedeff Award endowed by Billie Jean King pays tribute to a student leader who serves on campus and in the community in different and important ways. It is challenging enough to play varsity tennis at the highest level of our sport. To also serve as Victoria Flores has is simply remarkable.”
In her four years on The Flats, Flores has made an impact on the Georgia Tech women’s tennis program. A two-time team captain, ITA All-American and nationally ranked singles and doubles player, Flores has demonstrated her leadership throughout campus and the community.
In summer 2020, she founded the Racism and Prejudice Awareness group within the Student-Athlete Advisory Group at Georgia Tech and has been instrumental in helping facilitate diversity and empathy training to Tech’s athletic programs.
Additionally, Flores has helped create the Mental Health Committee within the athletic department and devotes her time to the EXCEL program at Georgia Tech where she mentors intellectually and developmentally challenged students. Through the EXCEL program, Flores has created lifelong friendships that have deeply impacted her life.
“I am blessed and truly honored to receive this award while representing Georgia Tech Athletics and our women’s tennis team,” Flores said. “Receiving this award means so much to me because it sheds light on the various activities I was involved in during college that I was so passionate about. Hopefully, I can encourage other college athletes to utilize their current platform and make a difference where they can.
“The driving force behind my passion to serve others and advocate for equality in all aspects of life is simple,” Flores continued. “The more you give with pure intent, the more you receive. Other than when I’m playing tennis, I am most fulfilled with joy when I can help others in any way.”
In May, Flores was named one of four finalists for the ITA’s highest student leadership award and was joined by Jacinta Chen (Pomona-Pitzer College), Maya Jacobs (Rutgers) and Varun Shanker (California Institute of Technology).
Previous winners of the award include Daniel Park (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps), Andrew Akins (Duquesne) and Nithya Kanagasegar (Case Western Reserve).
To view the complete release of the award, please click here.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Support The Swarm Fund, which helps Georgia Tech athletics offset the significant financial challenges associated with Covid-19, and the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.