Impossible2Possible: Empowering Youth Through Adventure

Impossible2Possible is an organisation that uses the concept of adventure to inspire young people world-wide.
The organisation was founded in January of 2008, with the idea of “let’s inspire young people to want to make change,” says Ray Zahab, founder of the organisation.
Impossible2Possible gives young people the opportunity to find out the adventures they are setting out on may seem impossible to finish, but in fact, are possible. “They can do anything they set their minds to,” Zahab says.

Adventure Expedition Across Canada
Zahab has been involved in two major expeditions since the inception of Impossible2Possible, the first of which was Canada OneXOne. This expedition took him and his team-mates across Canada, as they ran through all the provinces and territories of the country. “We ran 50 miles per day in each one of the provinces and territories and we did it in support of the OneXOne Foundation, which is finding solutions to social issues that affect young people.”

While visiting each province and territory, Zahab and his team tried to visit with as many young people as they could, whether it was by visiting their schools, holding seminars or having them run alongside the team. “It went off brilliantly,” says Zahab. “We had thousands of kids follow along. In Saskatoon alone we had a twenty-seven school relay that joined us. It was very, very effective.”

Zahab does approximately 50 to 75 speaking engagements a year, mostly at schools, but he also does some corporate events such as Idea City. “The crowds I speak to really get it,” he says of the reaction he receives. He says the people he speaks to are very inspired by the fact that although he has experienced so extraordinary things, he is just a regular guy. Crowds are also very inspired when they learn of the social and environmental issues Zahab learned about during these expeditions, such as the water crisis in northern Africa.

Adventure Expedition to the South Pole
In January 2009, Zahab and two of his friends also completed an expedition to the South Pole. A live web-cast was set up, which gave people from all over North America to see what was happening during the expedition. It also gave them the opportunity to become involved with the expedition in their own way and ask the team questions.

Zahab and his team mates were putting in 10- to 12-hour days to complete their trek, sometimes even 16 or 20. He says what kept them going was the thousands of additional team-mates they had on the Internet who were taking an interest in the expedition. “We were excited to share our stories with them each day and we wanted to be able to get up and tell new stories to tell them. It was about communicating people and making this program work.”

Expeditions Involving Youth
Zahab is hopeful that Impossible 2 Possible will soon be able to bring youth people along on expeditions with the team, the first which is planned for August, provided they have enough funding. The first of these expeditions will take place in Baffin Island. Three other expeditions are planned to take place in the Sahara, the Amazon and “a mountainous region of the world.” Zahab adds, “We try to come up with expeditions that people think are impossible or are out of the scope of what we would normally think about.”

Impossible2Possible also holds camps for youth. “We organize a weekend of adventure, speaking and mentorship for these young people. Over the course of the weekend we discuss social issues that they identify in their own communities that need some attention, and as well social issues that are affecting their peers around the world. The whole idea is to inspire them and for them to leave feeling empowered that they can change the world.”