Maggie Benson

Rider Profile
HometownChicago, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorElementary Education
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Oh hey didn't see you there. My name is Maggie Benson and I am a current senior at U of I. After switching my major a few times, I finally settled into Elementary Education and I cannot wait to be a teacher! As the daughter of two UIUC alumni I was raised an Illini fan and I always envisioned myself attending school here one day. After finishing my first half marathon in the spring of my sophomore year I became interested in long distance fitness challenges. After completing my first full marathon in October 2016 I knew that I was prepared for the challenge of biking cross-country. I grew up on the northwest side of Chicago in a neighborhood called Norwood Park (across the street from the oldest house in the city). The spring semester of my junior year I had the opportunity to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 5 months learning Spanish. While abroad I fell in love with South America and I hope to spend a year abroad in Central or South America teaching English or working for a non-profit for a year post graduation. Throughout my time in Urbana/Champaign I developed a passion for writing, running, and watching movies starring Jake Gylenhaal.

Personal Statement

My grandfather died of lung cancer before I ever had a chance to meet him. One of the most wonderful people I have ever known, my Dad's cousin, lost her battle to pancreatic cancer this year. She was one of the most energetic and positive people, that would win over everyone she met with her Texan charm. I hope to honor her legacy and my grandpa's while riding. Besides my own experiences, too many of my friends have family members that have lost their lives to cancer. By participating in this trip and fundraising I hope to help raise awareness and as funds towards research that will help to eventually end this terrible disease.