All we need is your email.
We’ll send you free access to the entire course immediately.
Liam connected with a Youthfully coach because he wanted to start a passion project and improve his chances of getting into university.
During the discovery sessions with his coach, as they discussed his courses, extracurriculars, interests, and more, it was clear how strong Liam’s devotion to health, nutrition, and wellness was.
While he wasn’t really interested in participating in sports in school because he wasn’t a naturally competitive person, he was an avid CrossFit athlete throughout high school. What really stuck out to him wasn’t so much the workouts, as the sense of community he felt with the other students and instructors.
His interest in health also helped inspire a long-term goal: helping cure multiple sclerosis (MS). His father suffered from this neurological disease that affects the central nervous system, and it was a huge challenge for his father and the rest of his family. Liam was inspired by his father’s strength, motivation, and drive to push through tough times.
Liam and his coach brainstormed a list of possible passion projects that were perfectly aligned with his interests and goals — and one that would have a meaningful impact and make a difference.
That’s when Murph4MS was born.
Murph4MS combined Liam’s desire to raise money and awareness for MS, with his passion for fitness and CrossFit.
The goal was to complete the notoriously difficult Murph workout (running 1 mile, doing 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and then running another mile all while wearing a 20lb vest) every day in the month of July and raise $10,000 or more for MS research.
Once they established this goal, they started to create a plan to execute to make it a reality.
Liam’s coach helped him come up with a strategic, step-by-step plan to lay the groundwork for the sequence of tasks to help make this goal a reality, while providing accountability and motivation along the way.
The first action was to set up a GoFundMe page to collect money for the MS Society of Canada. Together, they created a description and an informational video to help get pledges.
Next, Liam’s coach suggested a creative way that they could take this project to the next level. They wrote to 200 CrossFit gyms across Canada and asked if they wanted to take part, and join him as he trained for this challenge.
Liam recalls being skeptical that people would want to support a 16 year old’s project. But through a lot of hard work and writing a compelling email that told a memorable story and captured the value of what they were doing, his idea caught on.
They also created a poster for gyms to distribute, provided training materials to help them prepare for the Murph, and found creative ways to show credibility and give gyms an incentive to support this project.
In the end, five gyms across the country joined his efforts.
The project really started to gain traction as the gyms posted videos of them doing the Murph once a week, and Liam started the Murph 4 MS instagram account. This got people intrigued and interested in learning more about what MS is and how they could help.
To help increase the amount of donations, Liam’s coach suggested that they reach out to news outlets and radio stations to get his story featured. Together, they worked on a pitch, telling the story of how this project got started as well as the impact they hoped to have with it.
His story was picked up by outlets like Stittsville Central, and was featured on an Ottawa news radio station who agreed to give a 1-minute speech on it to tell listeners all about the project and how they themselves could get involved.
No Frills also helped raise awareness by putting up posters all around the local store and asking for donations at checkout (which helped raise over $2,500!). Finally, Liam also created merchandise to help raise even more awareness and so people could show their support.
If any challenges or issues came up during the process, Liam’s coach helped him talk through issues to find a solution and they did several check-ins over the summer.
The first week of July came around, and the challenge started. He recalls the physical battle in the first week was the hardest of anything he’d ever experienced.
The thing that kept him going was the community of supporters around him. Even when he was in pain and the workouts seemed impossible, they kept him accountable and gave him the motivation to continue.
As time went on, he came up with a strategy to overcome the mental struggle and push past his barriers and remember that this was for people who suffer from MS and he had to stay motivated for them.
Throughout the whole time he documented his workouts in Instagram posts, which also helped raise more awareness and funds.
In the second week, Liam did an interview with a reporter from CTV News, and this helped the project take off even more.
After the interview was posted, he surpassed his goal of raising $10,000 and passed $15,000.
Liam completed his goal of doing the Murph every single day throughout the month of July, and he raised a lot of money while doing it. At the end of the month, his local fire department showed up after having read the story in CTV news, and they made an additional donation.
Liam raised over $21,500 total, with 220 donors which is a real testament to how many people were inspired by this project.
Liam and his coach worked on drawing out meaningful learning outcomes from his experience and translating those in his applications to university. They also highlighted his growth and leadership, and how this would help him during university and beyond.
Murph4MS made Liam realize that he could apply his passion and skills to make a real difference to his family and his community. He uses this learning in his daily life, that nothing is impossible if you make a plan and put your mind to it. This has made him more confident as he applies to jobs and internships.
Today, Liam is a student at the University of Ottawa, studying Healthcare Analytics and Bachelors of Commerce.
Want to start your own impactful passion project? Apply to a 1:1 coaching program to identify and execute a meaningful project to help you build skills, make an impact, and stand out to universities and employers.