Step Up for Scholars 2022: Ali Nayyef

Blog, Step Up for Scholars | 08/06/2022

Welcome to Step Up for Scholars, the second event in the 2022 Pat’s Run Challenge Series! We’re celebrating all 14 classes of Tillman Scholars over the next 14 days. Each day, we’ll share a story from one of our scholars to inspire you to push a little harder tomorrow in your step challenge. Today, we bring you 2018 Tillman Scholar Ali Nayyef discussing the power of taking a moment, outside, for yourself and motivating those around you to do the same. Check out Ali here:

Hello everyone, my name is Ali Nayyef I’m a 2018 Tillman Scholar, I want to extend my gratitude to each and every one of you for participating in the step up for scholars challenge. I also want to share with you a short story for those of you who are looking for that extra boost of motivation. 

When I ran my first marathon I made a number of mistakes chief among them is failing to train properly. I failed to gradually build up my mileage and I wasn’t comfortable with my running pace. Safe to say that it made the experience more painful than it should have; however, I persisted in the race and went on to earn my first medal. 

I largely credited that to something one of my mentors in the army shared with me back when I was in the service and that’s if other people can do it so can you. The mere fact that you decided to take on this challenge goes to show your willingness to exceed your limitations break, the monotony of everyday life, and contribute to something larger than yourself. So even when things are looking rough, take it one step at a time and keep going you got this.

Want to join the challenge? It’s not too late! Register by Aug. 14 at and you’ll get a commemorative t-shirt and hat.