Taylor Williams

Rider Profile
HometownMokena, IL
UniversityUniversity of Wisconsin Milwaukee
MajorArchitecture, Spanish, Global Studies
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My name is Taylor Williams and I am 18 years old. I’m from Mokena, IL and a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I am studying Architecture, Spanish and Global Studies. I know, it seems like an odd combination, but I wish I could add more. My dream job would be to assist a mad scientist and travel the world to obtain highly classified materials. Of course, fighting evil villains with awesome ninja powers along the way. Architecture will be my cover. Truthfully, though, I am obsessed with learning about cultures, having adventures, and making an impact in my community. And although I’ve had many of my own adventures, I have never been able to set big goals for myself. That’s why this bike trip is different. While I love cycling, that’s not what the Illini 4000 is about for me. It’s about accomplishing something that seems impossible and discovering the stories people have to tell about their journeys along the way. In fact, one of my favorite quotes is, “Stop telling me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon!” Also, I have and older brother, Ryan (who is getting married in March!), an older sister, Ericka, and a younger step-brother, Marcell. I was really shy when I was younger, but I joined a dance team when I started high school and never looked back. Sure, I was on plenty of other sports teams, but those girls became my family and I really feel that I wouldn’t be brave enough to accomplish anything if it weren’t for them. On a lighter note, I secretly (no, it’s not really a secret) enjoy ballroom dancing, rock climbing, listening to radio mysteries and watching movies directed by Christopher Nolan. And… I can ride my bike with no handlebars! :)

Personal Statement

My grandfather died of lung cancer and my whole family says I am more like him than anyone else. He is the one who taught me to be fascinated with the world around me. When he died, I couldn’t understand how something invisible could defeat such a warrior. I think it just made me more aware that cancer is something real and something that affects people every day. I desire to fight it because of all the people one person’s life can influence. At the risk of sounding completely cliché, I think fighting cancer is less about cancer and really more about showing people that if something so deadly can be combated, especially by the youth of America, then any obstacle can be overcome.