About STRIVE 2017-10-07T14:53:00+00:00

Our Mission

We STRIVE to promote growth and learning for active people through travel to unique locations, immersion in new cultures, and (in our student programs) ethical volunteer projects and educational workshops, all while maintaining a safe and structured athletic training environment.

What is STRIVE?

High School Programs and College Internships

STRIVE is a unique international service-learning program specifically designed for the student-athlete. We have carefully constructed a safe, fun, and rewarding program that allows our participants to travel internationally and learn about and undertake community service without sacrificing their desire to be active.

Each day in a STRIVE program is a mix of service-learning, athletic training, and adventure. Students spend 3-5 hours daily working on community service projects or learning about service in discussions and workshops; in addition, each day features blocks of time set aside in the morning and afternoon for athletics – running, swimming, lifting, sport-specific drills, or rest and recovery for the next day. Programs are located in high altitude environments and feature impressive arrays of training facilities available for students including: running tracks and miles of dirt roads, pools, weight rooms, basketball courts, tennis courts (in Peru only) and soccer/football fields.

On weekends, groups explore the surrounding area (from Inca ruins to giraffe parks) and each program culminates with a multi-day adventure highlighting the country’s natural beauty. In Kenya, students travel through the Masai Mara on safari and in Peru students hike for three days through the Andes to the incomparable Machu Picchu.

Adult Programs

STRIVE’s trips for adults are unique opportunities for those active travelers who want to see the world as more than a tourist. Just as with STRIVE’s student programs, our adult trips feature a balance of learning through visits to local areas and sightseeing, cultural immersion with help from our experienced staff, and daily options for athletic training, active exploration, and even racing.

Every day is packed full of opportunities for new experiences, from zip-lining down Andean cliff-sides to exploring ancient cathedrals, but with plenty of time to get in the daily run, hike, or biking session. With guidance from our staff, you’ll have all the resources you need to get the most out of your trip (plus have all the logistical needs covered) and still have some free time to explore on your own. Finish up with a visit to Machu Picchu or a multi-day Safari.

Not a runner? No problem! You’re welcome to bike or walk along the same routes as the runners or simply use the time to rest or to explore the towns we visit.

At STRIVE, we have many different passions, from service to athletics to travel. We encourage our participants to explore these in addition to their own unique passions. Let us know if you have any questions. We love to talk about our programs!

Rob Martin

Director/Co-Owner
Rob@STRIVEtrips.org

Rob was a high school runner but eventually found himself on the coaching side of things once he reached college. His itch to get out of the Midwest eventually got the best of him. Soon after graduating from Purdue University, Rob’s first trip outside the US landed him in Ntchisi, Malawi where he spent three years teaching high school students, training mathematics teachers, and coaching cross country runners through the Peace Corps. He fell in love with the Warm Heart of Africa, learning to speak Chichewa and greetings in many other Bantu languages. Rob eventually settled in The Big Apple soon after his return from Malawi. He feels that New York brings the world to him everyday he walks out the door.

During his decade of teaching in New York, Rob was lucky enough to coach many state and nationally ranked runners, until the international bug big him again.  In 2010, he found a unique opportunity to combine his travel and coaching experience, being STRIVE’s first group leader at it’s inaugural session in Kenya. In 2016, Rob accepted a call to be part of a Peace Corps Response group to help reopen Sierra Leone’s schools post-Ebola. He is currently training mathematics and science teachers at a Sierra Leonean university before he returns to Kenya this summer with STRIVE. Despite his love of coaching and teaching mathematics, nothing compares with the joy he feels seeing STRIVErs engulfed in the songs, smiles, and hospitality of the peoples of sub-saharan Africa.

  • Also known as Rob the Groover, the music moves him.

  • Math nerd.  Serious math nerd.

  • Big ideas, aspirations and dreams.

Nic Windschill

Director/Co-Owner
Nic@strivetrips.org

A small town boy and multi-sport athlete at heart, Nic began his international travel experience with a semester abroad in Costa Rica.  After getting a small taste of life as an international nomad it was hard for him to focus on anything else.  He finished his degree at Hamline University with a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice with designs on pursuing a career in the FBI.  One fortuitous phone call shortly after graduation and he found himself on a plane to complete a teaching contract in Guatemala.   One year in Guatemala awoke a hunger and passion to learn about other cultures and other languages. After a short stint as a volunteer at a homeless shelter in New Mexico he was back abroad: eating new foods, learning new languages and absorbing the cultures of the world and playing basketball in all sorts of different countries.  Nic also taught and lived in Thailand, Mexico and Mauritania before finally ending up back in the USA in 2012 when he became an owner of STRIVE.  Maybe after a few more MN winters he’ll find himself searching for a home abroad where it’s not regularly 20 below zero.

Nic has been with STRIVE since the inaugural Peru program and currently enjoys life as an administrator and group leader.  His extensive traveling experience brings a well-balanced cultural perspective to each STRIVE group and he looks forward to getting to know the individuals from each session. He can’t wait to see what the next summer will bring.

  • 33 countries checked off and many more to go.

  • Nic loves dragons and castles, preferably together.

  • Easy-going, always calm and just slightly sarcastic!

Tyler Andrews

Director/Co-Owner
Tyler@strivetrips.org

Tyler (or Ty) was born and raised in suburban Massachusetts. He hardly left his hometown until graduating from high school and flying a few thousand miles to the other side of the equator to spend a year in Quito, Ecuador. His time abroad turned out to be a perfect foreshadowing of his passion for service and athletics at STRIVE. While there, he became fluent in Spanish while working in a children’s hospital and began to explore his love for running.

As an athlete, Ty has progressed immensely from his humble roots as a high schooler, first competing in NCAA Div. 3 track and cross country for Tufts University before moving to South America to pursue his dream of professional athletics. His big move paid off, as his dedication earned him a sponsorship from HOKA ONE ONE after showing new promise on the roads. Since then, Ty has continued to develop as a professional, improving his marathon time to 2:15 and competing at the US Olympic Marathon Trials, running 1:03 in the half marathon, and twice representing the US National Team at the 50km World Championships where he finished as the individual silver medalist in 2016.  He continues to support STRIVE through his running as well, including setting the World Record for Treadmill Half Marathon as part of a STRIVE fundraiser.

However, Tyler’s passion for service and athletics transcends his running career. After first working as a Group Leader on the inaugural STRIVE-Peru Trip in 2011, he now works year-round as an administrator and ambassador for the program. He hopes to continue to lead trips and impart his knowledge and experience in athletics, travel, service, and life with as many young people as possible.

  • Has lived, run, and raced in 8 countries.

  • Happy to discuss “Infinite Jest”, astrophysics, or mountaineering.

  • The analytical, spreadsheet-driven running-expert on the team!