Waterloo native Connor O’Neill, front, rides in California at the beginning of his trek across the U.S. to raise awareness and funds for people with disabilities through Journey of Hope.
O’Neill just completed his junior year at the University of Iowa where he is studying civil engineering. He is also a member of Pi Kappa Phi, and the fraternity focuses on helping people with disabilities. O’Neill said the cause attracted him to the chapter because his sister has a learning disability. “It seemed like a good fit with me knowing what they’re doing. It was a bigger impact on me,” he said.
Journey of Hope is an annual fundraiser the fraternity holds to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities. The event is a cross-country bike ride featuring members from 35 chapters of the fraternity. Riders take three routes starting in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles and meet up in Washington, D.C. After meeting one of the two members of the U of I chapter who rode Journey of Hope two years ago, O’Neill said he wanted to be part of their effort.