Matthew Niewiara

Rider Profile
HometownElmhurst, Illinois
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorAgricultural & Biological Engineering
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Hey everyone! My name is Matthew Niewiara and I am currently a senior at the University of Illinois, studying agricultural and biological engineering. Both of my parents went to U of I and my younger sister is a sophomore here as well. I'm originally from Elmhurst, a western suburb of Chicago. On campus, I am involved with Engineers Without Borders, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and I also teach an orientation class to incoming freshmen. I'm a big fan of cooking (eating too!), cheesy dad jokes, and almost anything outdoors (hiking, cycling, camping, and kayaking, to name a few). I also love to travel and meet new people along the way. I am really looking forward to the amazing opportunity to contribute to the fight against cancer as I ride across the country with my teammates. Thank you for your support!

Personal Statement

Everyone has been affected by cancer to some degree. A few of my loved ones have fought against cancer, and luckily the majority have won their battle. When I was starting elementary school, my grandfather passed away from brain cancer. Although most of the memories are foggy, I remember he had a contagious positive attitude and always had a big smile on his face (especially when we would bike to the local ice cream shop). I think having a positive outlook on life is one of the best things one can do when faced with adversity. I am looking forward to hearing stories from individuals we meet along the ride and sharing those stories through the Portraits Project. Sharing these stories of courage not only raises awareness, but it also brings people together and creates a community of support. I'm riding for everyone impacted by this terrible disease in hopes that one day we can win the battle against cancer.