• Route: Sierra
  • Ride Year: 2022
  • Hometown: Midland, Texas

About: Hi! My name is Anuj Mocherla. I’m from Midland, Texas: where the sky runs wide and the oil runs deep. I have two wonderful parents who love to run, Satish & Bhavana; an older brother who always thinks I’m copying what he’s doing, Arjun; and an adorable doggo whose favorite toy is anything that you can play tug-of war-with, Sofia. Having parents in the medical field, they instilled into me the values of compassion and service to others. I’m hoping to attend law school after graduation to study more about the intersection of business law in a way that can uplift human rights across the globe.

On campus, I’ve heavily enjoyed giving back to the 40 Acres that has given me so much. Through serving as the President of Texas Student Media, Deputy Administrative Director of Student Government, and the Administrative Director for the Student Endowed Centennial Lectureship, I’ve developed a passion for servant leadership and community building.

In my free time, you probably can find me spending way too much time listening to some tunes, taking pictures of my friends, or trying to make the latest meal off of Chef’s Table.

Why I Ride

Early in my freshman year I met someone who would go on to change my life. With a magnetic energy and an enthusiasm for community, Mason Schlechte quickly took me under his wing as a mentor and friend. He welcomed me into his life with open arms, and I was lucky to join him as a member of the same social organization.

Mason and I connected over coming from small, rural towns in Texas, sparsely populated with students that attend UT. Without a solid base of incoming friends, he taught me the indispensability of building a new community around us that was open and welcoming to all.

I’ll never forget the fall night when he came in to let us know he had become a member of the 2020 Texas 4000 team. Full of hope, excitement, and warmth, Mason never wanted to see a group of people downhearted. Mason believed that through Texas 4000 and with his team, he could make a big impact on the people and communities he met while training and along the ride. He rode for his dear friend Maggie, her father Larry, and the whole Moore family that showed him so much kindness.

Last summer, Mason passed away, taking his own life. Mason’s heart touched so many people throughout his life, and even in my grief, I know I was so lucky to be a part of it. While Mason’s passing wasn’t from cancer, it showed me the fragility of life, how individuals can be here one moment and gone the next. Someone like Mason was rare. He brought his charisma, convivial attitude, and raw energy to those who needed it. Mason represented what the perfect member of Texas 4000 is: empathetic, driven, and electrifying.

Texas 4000 focuses on building hope within a community where hope seems scarce, spreading knowledge as a light in the darkness, and giving charity where it is needed the most. It takes a community to get someone through the fight against cancer. Texas 4000 for Cancer is that community for cancer.

As frightening as cancer can be, Mason showed me how having a community at your back can make a world of difference. In Mason’s memory and in honor of his kind spirit and zest for life, I hope to serve communities all the way to Alaska and back.