• Route: Unassigned
  • Ride Year: 2024
  • Hometown: Houston

About: Hi there! Thank you so much for viewing my profile and coming along with me for this journey!

My name is Sarika Kotha and I am a junior finance major at The University of Texas at Austin and am originally from Houston, TX. Outside of Texas 4000, I am also active in Texas USIT, Wall Street for McCombs, and Delta Gamma. In my free time, I enjoy trying new Tex-Mex restaurants, playing with my dog Chai, and going to concerts.

I am so thrilled to begin my journey with Texas 4000!

Why I Ride

Growing up in a tight-knit family, I spent countless summers in India just to be with family and friends. Through my journies, one of the people whom I connected most with is my paternal grandmother, more affectionately known as my "avva". My avva was born in the early 1940s, just before India declared independence from Britain. Times were so incredibly different then. My avva was the first woman in her town to ever attend undergraduate school, but upon her graduation, her family insisted upon her marriage at age 17.

My avva took care of her three sons and one daughter day in and day out. Her "job" as a mother in India at that time was to wake up at the crack of dawn, begin cooking, serve food to her family, clean, and repeat. From the stories I've heard, she was not someone you would want to mess with. She was always a tough cookie. She may only stand 5' 1", but she is the strongest person I know.

After surviving two instances of cancer, my avva was diagnosed with uterine cancer this past year, only one year after losing her husband. My grandma spends every day coming to terms with this new reality and recently began chemo treatments after receiving news that her cancer has spread.

I ride for my avva. I also ride for my parents and family who have supported her through this process and continuously provide unconditional love to her. I ride for anyone who is afflicted with cancer or has a loved one afflicted with cancer.

I am so grateful to be part of this journey and help raise money for grants for cancer research and support services. It was always my hope to change the world in a meaningful way at a young age, and with just this ride, I can successfully say that I have played a small role in making the world a better place!