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Strive Trips

About

We Strive to promote growth and learning for dedicated student-athletes through travel to new and exciting locations, volunteer projects within local communities, and exposure to new customs and cultures while maintaining a safe, structured and challenging daily athletic training environment. Strive is a unique international service program specifically designed for the student-athlete. We have carefully constructed a safe, fun, and rewarding program that allows student-athletes to experience international travel and community service without sacrificing their desire to be active.

Website
strivetrips.org
Founded
2009

Reviews

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Isabel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

STRIVE College Internship - Peru 2019

My experience as an intern with STRIVE in Peru this summer was one that I will never forget. Going into the program I was not sure what to expect, but whatever expectations I had were far surpassed. The three tenets of the program - service, athletics, and adventure - each served as opportunities to grow and learn with the people around me. Being surrounded with people from different backgrounds but with common interests and values made each day unique. My favorite experience from this summer was cooking dinner each night with the other interns and staff - it was a time to reflect on the day, try our hand at Peruvian bargaining, and form strong bonds. The trek at the end of the trip was an amazing way to culminate the experience and allowed me to get to know some of the high schoolers better - there is no better way to get to know someone than walk 20 miles per day with them! I would recommend this program to any athlete who is interested in traveling, running, service, and a holistic experience.

What was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment was in Ollantaytambo when the interns were doing a hike on a free day. We chose to hike up to a cell phone tower that we could see from our hostel. It ended up being the most difficult hike I had ever completed - once we got to the tower, we looked down and saw that we had gone up the most difficult route we possibly could! Although physically difficult, it was definitely one of my favorite days.
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KK
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Strive Kenya was amazing!

My 14yo son participating in the Strive Kenya trip the summer before his freshman year in high school. It was a truly amazing experience that forever changed him. Not only did he become a much better runner (he made the varsity cross country team when he returned), but he grew as a person. I almost didn't recognize him when he got off the plane. He felt older and more mature, and he had a new-found confidence in his ability to accomplish challenging tasks. He loved his leaders, and they took great care of him. He also loved the volunteer experiences. Working with little kids at the school and the children's hospital were some of his favorite moments of the trip. And getting to meet Eliud Kipchoge and other world-class runners and coaches was an incredible opportunity for him. He was inspired by everyone he met there. I can't recommend this trip enough. It was life-changing!

What would you improve about this program?
From the parent perspective, there is nothing I would change. The communication was great both before and during the trip, and I felt confident the entire time that my son was in great hands.
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Ellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

STRIVE Experience

I loved the unique service opportunities we had the chance to participate in, since I would not have been able to do the same service in Boston. I also liked how we always had the choice to push ourselves to work hard, whether it was choosing to run longer or deciding to continue hiking, even when the destination seemed impossible. Overall, I loved experiencing so many new adventures and learning how hard I'm actually capable of pushing myself.

Hiking Machu Picchu was one of the most difficult adventures I have ever experienced. However, given the chance, I would not have changed my mind about doing the trek. Although it was hard, it was incredibly fun to spend five days hiking in two unique environments. From snow capped mountains to the humid jungle, I learned more about what it is to persevere.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Hiking Machu Picchu was one of the most difficult adventures I have ever experienced. However, given the chance, I would not have changed my mind about doing the trek. Although it was hard, it was incredibly fun to spend five days hiking in two unique environments. From snow capped mountains to the humid jungle, I learned more about what it is to persevere.
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Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful Program

Strive gives high schoolers a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience travel, athletics, and service. The leaders are phenomenal, and my experiences with other students were always fantastic. Students get to experience all sorts of activities, including teaching, training, learning about service, meeting the locals, and exploring the area. In my experience, teaching and training were two of the more rewarding parts of the trip. While I had fun giving lessons in math and English, the kids undoubtedly taught me more than I could possible teach them. As far as training goes, the altitude is tough, but the feeling of finishing a workout is unbeatable. As a side note, be sure to talk to the locals and listen to their stories (it’s always fascinating to hear about their life). I spent two summers with Strive, and would do it all again in a heartbeat.

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Natalie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome trip

Strive trips Kenya was an incredible opportunity to explore a country without being touristy, while doing meaningful work in the community. Iten is an optimal spot for runners and other athletes to train and get authentic advice from world champions. As a participant, you're given the independence to explore, without ever feeling unsafe, and options to tailor the experience to what you and your groupmates want to do. One highlight for me was the interactions and relationships I got to build, both with the community and the other travelers. I was able to make connections with people who live halfway across the world, and to Iten itself. The three weeks you're there allow you to fully immerse yourself, and in a short amount of time you may see Iten as a home away from home. Overall, could not recommend Strive enough!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Emily Marquis

Emily Marquis is currently a freshman at Williams College. She participated in STRIVE Peru in summer 2017.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because it combined my passions of running, service work, Spanish, and travel. The trip was a perfect combination of these things and stretched my skills through each of them. It was also a great way to get out of my Massachusetts bubble, explore a new place, and meet some great new people!

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The STRIVE team was very helpful in helping me to plan and prepare for my trip. With a complete packing list and description of what to expect, I went into the trip feeling confident and excited about what was to come. They were super available to answer any questions I came up with during the application and preparation process.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I would advise you to thoroughly explore the website of STRIVE and reach out to one of the leaders or previous participants with any questions you have so that you are sure that it will be right for you. If you are at all considering whether to participate, I STRONGLY encourage you to do so. You will gain so much more than you can predict going into it.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

In Peru, every day was different as we ran through the mountains, tutored English for the local children, shopped in Cusco, played games at our hostel, tried new foods (like guinea pig!), worked at conservations or animal sanctuaries, and made new Peruvian friends.

I also participated in the Spanish immersion week before the main part of the trip, during which I took daily Spanish classes, explored the small mountain town, and lived with a host family. The last few days of the trip (the trek to Machu Picchu) were breathtaking and a great way to wrap up the experience.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was the fact that the experience of traveling to a foreign country without my family would be overwhelming or scary. I was also worried that my running level would not be on par with other people's and that I could be left behind. In reality, the program does such a great job of making sure that everyone feels comfortable and accommodated for and the range of runners meant I always had someone to join me.

What surprised you about your experience in Peru?

What was most surprising and beneficial in my experience was the ways that we got to connect with the people whose home we were visiting during the different parts of our trip. I was worried that the program would isolate us from the actual people and culture of Peru, but in actuality we were able to interact with it in a way that was thoughtful and significant.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Nic Windschill

Job Title
High School Program Director
Nic has been with Strive Trips since its first summer in Peru. He taught internationally for 7 years before becoming an owner and trip leader for Strive Trips. He now bases himself in Minnesota and deals with all the logistics and applications for our programs.
Nic Windschill

What is your favorite travel memory?

One of my favorite recent travel memories was a trip to the Cappadocia region in Turkey. It's long been on my list of places to visit and the region did not disappoint. The cave homes and buildings were as incredible and unique as I imagined they would be and the almost desolate nature of the beauty is stunning.

I could have walked and climbed into the various homes/pigeon homes and explored the region for days on end. Then there was the food and the people. An incredible place!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

One of the biggest things that I've realized is that change on a micro-level is where things happen. It's fun to imagine these big, sweeping changes where everything falls into place immediately, but really the change and benefits come from interactions with a single person, or for a few moments. And in the process of becoming involved in hundreds of these micro-changes, you open the world up to the possibility of those macro-level changes.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

One of the tenets of the Strive programs is learning and participating in service-learning. A student of ours took the time to reach out after a program and write a very heartfelt thank you in response to all of the learning that took place on the program.

She said she took the information from our service learning curriculum, brought it back with her to her school community service club and worked directly with the club advisor to restructure the entire community service club with the service leaning philosophy that we at Strive teach.

It's cool to watch these young folks go out and start positive changes. They are our future and I'm happy to play a very small part in their mindsets and outlooks.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Being that I've spent so much time in Latin America both teaching, traveling and working with Strive, I'd probably have to choose that one. The mountains and scenery in Peru are close to unbeatable. Couple that with the perfect weather, great food and all of the Incan ruins and sites and it makes for a fantastic trip.

The warmth from the people of Kenya makes it a close call but Peru just slightly edges it out because of my history with the culture and area.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

The running and training and all things athletic make our company unique. We have a fantastic service-learning and community service curriculum and projects and engage with the community and culture as well, but what makes us stand apart is our commitment to supporting athletes in their international endeavors. Sharing our passion and supporting fitness and health through travel is what we do best.

Our team is the best at providing individualized attention. We make sure everyone is having the best possible experience and take the time to tailor the program to each individual as much as we can.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe it has to do with the amount of passion that your team members have for your mission, vision and overall purpose. If you have a motivated team pushing forward with ideas and programs that they love and fully stand behind, the natural progression will be towards success. If your team members like going to work every day, that's a pretty good start!