Alex Kulyk

Rider Profile
HometownGlenview, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorMechanical Engineering
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I am Alex Kulyk and I’m studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois. I’m from Glenview, Illinois, a north suburb of Chicago. I come from a relatively small family, with my immediate family of four consisting of my two very supportive parents, my twin sister and myself. As a kid, I loved building things, taking things apart and putting them back together, making my choice of major no surprise. In high school, I joined stage crew and fell in love with live sound production and recording. A friend and I founded a small amateur studio and have recording groups from solo auditions to 16 piece big bands. I hope to one day work in the professional audio industry. I also started cycling in high school, when I got my road bike my senior year. Since then I’ve built two fixed gears and am planning a third. Here at the university, I work as a Senior Desk Clerk at Allen Hall. I love being an integral and useful part of the great community that Allen Hall is known for, and have met some great friends there. I haven’t been involved in much charity work since my Boy Scout Eagle project, but I’d love to make a difference while doing something I love.

Personal Statement

I count myself incredibly lucky that my family has not been affected directly by cancer. However, like most people I haven’t been able to avoid cancer outside of my family. My closest experience with cancer was also one of the most difficult, troubling and eye opening episodes of my life. During my junior year, a friend of mine from stage crew was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his chest. He missed the rest of the school year, and most of the next. In January of our senior year, we heard that he had passed away. While it wasn’t unexpected, the news was still plenty painful. However, the magnitude of what happened wasn’t apparent to me until his wake. Until I saw how many people were affected by his death, cancer had always been just a horrible thing that happens to other people. At my friend’s wake, I saw that cancer is a horrible thing that happens to everyone. Seeing his father, mother, brother and sister grieve made me realize that for every one of the millions of people that dies from cancer, there is at least a father, mother, brother or sister left to grieve for them. This is a thought that has stayed with me since then, and has forever changed the way I think about cancer.