Niskayuna man runs 19 miles on day of graduation to raise money for families in need

Emily De Vito
Updated: May 19, 2020 02:24 PM
Created: May 19, 2020 11:59 AM

NISKAYUNA – A Niskayuna native was supposed to walk across the graduation stage Tuesday after he completed a two-year MBA program at Fordham University. Instead, he spent the day raising money for families of students in need.

Matthew Cohen, who is a graduate of Niskayuna High School, said that although coronavirus changed his graduation experience for his masters, he considers himself lucky. He said the virus has not taken as much from him as it has from others.


"I saw on the news all these workers, nurses, everyone just kind of piling in doing all these efforts to save all these people," said Cohen. "I was thinking I'm sitting home not really doing much what can I do to kind of improve the quality of life for people that are having a hard time during this pandemic."

Cohen decided to run 19 miles on May 19 to fight against coronavirus while raising money for Nisky NOW (Nutrition on Weekends). The program provides a weekly delivery of food to families of students in need in the Niskayuna School District.

"This is my community, this will always be my community," said Cohen. "It's kind of brought me to this point in my life where I'm at now and I just want to support them the way they've supported me."

Cohen's girlfriend, who also graduated Tuesday from Fordham University, rode her bike alongside him. It was not the graduation Cohen pictured, but he said he feels accomplished.

"I just did something that was super mentally challenging for the past two years and let me finish that off with something that's physically challenging."

If you want to donate to Cohen's fundraising campaign, click here.

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