Divya Nagpal

Rider Profile
HometownNaperville, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorCommunity Health
View Rider Blog (14)

I am currently a senior in Community Health at the University of Illinois. After having lived in Naperville for most of my life, I was what you could call a spoiled brat. I never had anything to complain about, but I seemed to complain a lot. Everything changed after I moved to India for a couple years. I had never seen people in such a state of poverty and had never been more emotionally affected by anything. After seeing so many people struggling on a daily basis, my whole attitude changed. Ever since then I have been passionate about giving people the opportunity to live a good life. Throughout my years in college, I have been pretty involved. From singing a cappella to volunteering and studying abroad I am usually all over the place. However, something has always been missing. I have always been looking for that something more. Illini 4000 is that opportunity I have been searching for, to give back to people that truly deserve it. Unfortunately, I don't come as prepared as the rest. I had not biked in 11 years until this past summer. Thanks to a friend, I got a free road bike and was able to start riding on campus. I had always thought about doing I4K but I knew I needed to do some biking first, so when I got this bike it couldn't have been better timing. I took it to the bike co-op, fixed it up, and now we are inseparable. Friends say they see me biking joyously across campus, which is true because I really love my bike! I have been passionate about helping people and I am now passionate about biking. I am pumped, nervous beyond belief, and honored to do the ride in 2011.

Personal Statement

This summer I will be riding for my mom’s relative who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is one of the kindest and and most welcoming women I know. She is an inspiration as she has done so much for her family. I look up to her and respect her immensely because she is such a strong woman who, despite her current struggle, is holding her head up high. I find it ironic that often the best people are afflicted with the worst things. I am riding for her, and people like her, who despite everything are fighting hard. Though biking across the country will be difficult for me, it pales in comparison to what people fighting cancer go through. I can only hope that my ride will in some way pay homage to the people that have battled and are currently battling cancer.