Cristian Garcia

Rider Profile
HometownCicero, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorGeneral Studies
View Rider Blog (6)

Hello! My name is Cristian E. Garcia. I'm a freshman at the University of Illinois and I am involved in many things around campus including the Illini 4000. I try to keep myself constantly busy through my involvements in campus organizations and the people that I meet. I find myself motivated by my friends, family, and the people that I surround myself with in this new life I have made for myself at the University of Illinois. I feel that I am unique in many ways. Despite the meat oriented meals that my Hispanic culture typically offers, I have been a strong vegetarian for almost 13 years. The many years of dedication to my diet and other aspects of my life stem from my parents, who have inspired me with their stories of extreme hardship when they had to enter the country. I am the oldest of four children and the first to attend a university on my mom's side. My dad has had three cousins attend college but I would still be one of the very few to do so. I am very proud of who I am: I exercise frequently, don't smoke, and only drink wine on Sundays, though perhaps a "sip" would be a better word. I am a University student, not only because I see it as a path to success in the future, but because I can honestly say that it would make my family proud. They have repeatedly told me that their version of the American dream is almost a dream come true, but only time will tell. I can only hope to show them their dream, on paper, in four years.

Personal Statement

The last time I saw my family friend Pablo, he was a health man in his 60's, 150 pounds, 5 feet 7 inches, and happily walking his dog "Chiquis" around the block. Pablo and I would always have little talks and discuss who's favorite soccer team would win the upcoming match. We had so many differences, but so many similarities at the same time. I loved taking my dog over to his house and letting the two chase each other on his freshly cut lawn. When I went home for Labor Day, I hoped to see Pablo at least once, but he never came by. One day, after I had returned to school, I received a call from my mom saying that Pablo was really sick and had been rushed to the hospital. She told me not to worry and that I would see him again once I returned home. The next time I saw Pablo, he was about 100 pounds, he had significantly less hair, and seemed immobile from his waist down. Despite this drastic change, our love of the game carried on and our rival soccer teams, Chivas and America, were playing against each other and I got to see Pablo's smile once more. He told me "te quiero mucho," which literally translates to "I like you a lot." With yet another victim to Cancer in my life, I could not simply ignore the disease and hope that someone finds a cure. I want a cure and I will persevere in my goal to fundraise for Cancer research. For Pablo and for my grandpa, I will ride.