Jonathan Yuen

Rider Profile
HometownManalapan, New Jersey
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorComputer Engineering
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Hi Everyone! I am Jonathan Yuen, a freshman studying Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In high school, I ran track and cross country and immediately got hooked on endurance sports. Whether it is running 15 miles or biking 75 miles, I enjoy testing how far I can push my body. I also enjoy playing soccer, basketball, Ultimate Frisbee, and rock climbing. Besides physical activity, I also enjoy hobbies such as Chinese Yo-Yo (Diabolo), photography, playing the piano, and taking naps on the main quad of campus. Some goals and plans have for the future include running in the Illinois Marathon and completing a full length Ironman triathlon race.

Personal Statement

When I was in 7th grade, my mother was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer. I was naïve and ignorant at that time; I thought that my mother was invincible and cancer was nothing worse than the common cold. As I watched her go through countless chemotherapy sessions, I realized that cancer not only has a major effect physically, but also mentally and emotionally. When my best friend’s mother passed away from pancreatic cancer, the deadly nature of cancer became much more apparent. I realized that everyone will die at some time and that it is important how we live our life. I decided that to live my life to the fullest, I would follow a mantra: “Seek Discomfort.” By constantly living in a state of discomfort, I would be exposed to new people, ideas, and places. I would get to experience things that I could never imagine myself doing. My first major step in seeking discomfort was leaving my home in New Jersey to come here in Illinois, meeting new people and trying new activities. Now Illini4000 will be the next major step in exploring new experiences and opportunities.