EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 23, 2012

Central Catholic graduate aims to motivate others

By John Toole jtoole@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — WINDHAM – A college student from Windham is trying to motivate people toward a better world.

“If you want something bad enough, you’ll get it,” Sahil Maripuri said.

Maripuri has launched a motivational website, PromoteHustle.com, where he publishes inspiring quotations from athletes, business leaders and others.

Maripuri attends Northeastern University in Boston, where he is a dean’s list student in the fourth year of a five-year program. He is studying electrical engineering with a business minor.

A 2009 graduate of Central Catholic in Lawrence, he used to post motivational content on his Facebook page. People liked what he posted.

“After a while, I figured I had a niche with it,” Maripuri said.

So he launched the website in August. He’s getting 100 views a day now.

“I’m trying to grow it,” he said.

He’s up to nearly 200 Twitter followers, too.

David DeFillippo, his former principal and Central Catholic’s director of community relations, stays in touch with Maripuri and came away impressed by the website.

“I thought the concept, at least to my knowledge, is quite unique,” DeFillippo said. “This is a pretty good idea.”

Maripuri has done significant research and put together something worth viewing, in DeFillippo’s opinion.

“There are thought-provoking quotes and vignettes at a level high school and college students can understand and appreciate,” he said.

Some of the content, “reaches into your heart,” DeFillippo said.

Maripuri knows personally how motivation can make a difference.

He was the typical skinny kid in junior high who grew 5 inches and added 70 pounds to his frame in high school.

His inspirations were fitness gurus like Jay Cutler and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“It definitely changed my life,” Maripuri said.

The transition got him thinking about his grades, too. The B student in high school now carries a 3.9 grade point average at the university.

“I wish I had tried harder in high school,” he said. “If you want something bad enough, you’ll get it.”

DeFillippo said you could watch the change in Maripuri as he developed a sense of mission and leadership as he grew up. He recalled Maripuri organizing school tailgating for football and basketball.

“This was a very positive event,” he said.

DeFillippo said he thinks the school’s sense of community influenced Maripuri in a positive way.

“He was no slouch in the classroom,” DeFillippo said, remembering a course load of calculus and honors-level studies for his former student.

Athletes might have inspired Maripuri then. Now business leaders are doing so.

“Mark Cuban is a huge one for me. He didn’t have anything, he slept on people’s floors,” Maripuri said. “Now he’s a self-made millionaire.”

People are responding. Video of a locker room speech by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis generated 17 Facebook “likes” from viewers of his site.

He stays away from politicians on his website because people sometimes disapprove of what they say.

His favorite quote is from author George Bernard Shaw: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.”

Maripuri said that’s not on his site yet, but when reminded of the quotation indicated he plans to add it.

DeFillippo has told him to keep this motivational site going.

“Who knows where it will lead?” DeFillippo said.

Maripuri admits he is not sure where this will go at this early stage, whether, say, there’s a market in this. But he knows it’s possible.

“I’ve been getting people who have been mentioning it would be cool to have T-shirts, apparel,” he said.

If he has an audience large enough, he said, he might start with wristbands.

For now, he’s just pleased to make a difference.

“I like knowing you make an impact on people,” Maripuri said.