MORRISTOWN, NJ - Frelinghuysen Middle School hosted Rohan Murphy Day, an event organized by the Morris Educational Foundation, on March 17.Students from the "All In program" at the middle school introduced the the program and the "All In" club as a whole. The program was organized with the help of Dr. Jessica Neu, supervisor of pupil studies.
“We are not here to change the community, we are here to make it better and shine a light on what life is like for kids with disabilities,” said the students.
Murphy is a motivational speaker who travels across the country telling his story of growing up with a disability. Born with a severe birth defect, he had his legs amputated at age four. As a child, he always wished to play sports like many of his friends but, was never able to due to his disability.
However, when he was in 8th grade, his physical education teacher offered him a position as manager for the school soccer team and wrestling team. Then, after witnessing him doing pull-ups during class, his teacher suggested he try out for the wrestling team.
Although his first season was not a very successful year for him, he was determined to train harder during the summer and even attended a prestigious wrestling training camp at the University of Minnesota.
When it was time to start applying to colleges, Murphy had always dreamt of going to Penn State.
“When I was discussing colleges with my guidance counselor, he told me I should look into a smaller school because it would difficult for me to get around on such a small campus,” he said.
However, Murphy was determined to get into his dream school despite the challenges he may face at such a large campus.
While at Penn State, he participated on their Division I wrestling team. He was also featured on an episode of 20/20 and even starred in a Nike commercial back in 2008.
During his lecture, he said, “If you want something in life you have to go for it.”
When it was time for questions from the audience, students and teachers had many questions for Murphy. One teacher asked if anyone ever questioned his weight class while he was on the wrestling team.
“The only people who ever questioned it were the parents of the players who I beat,” he said.
He told the students that his personal motto is “No excuses.”