Still Thinking? Got Questions?
We get tons of questions from prospective students and parents, so we’ve tried to list some of the most common questions and answers below. Still have a question after reading? We’d love to answer – don’t hesitate to contact us!
Anyone who comes on a STRIVE Trip is generally looking to immerse themselves in new cultures and new experiences, while also being committed to his or her athletic training. Each day will be packed with learning and service, exploring a new place, and staying active. In all of our programs, we are more interested in your dedication to the ideals of the program – service, athletics, and adventure – than in any quantitative measure of speed or ability. We have had athletes who have been Division I college recruits all the way to students who just like to stay active but don’t consider themselves pinned to one sport. STRIVE participants have come from just about all sports: running, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, crew, field hockey, triathlon, hockey, skiing, wrestling. Whichever end of the spectrum you find yourself on or what sport is your passion, our group leaders and coaches will make sure you have the opportunity to push yourself as an athlete and as a person.
College students who are interested in STRIVE should read about and apply to the STRIVE College Intern Program, where you’ll learn about service, athletics, and adventure from a point of view of more responsibility.
Adult runners of all levels (and even non-runners!) are welcome to join us on our 10-day trips specifically designed active adult travelers.
This is the question that we receive most often and there is no set answer. In the past few summers, participants have ranged from recreational athletes to varsity soccer players to competitive swimmers to All American runners, so their training needs and routines have varied significantly. Students also join STRIVE programs from all over the world, meaning that their school calendars (and therefore training schedules) begin and build at very different times. So the training that you do during a STRIVE trip will depend on your personal goals, your individual fitness level and abilities, and your adjustment to the altitude. All of our group leaders and coaches are experienced and knowledgeable in the realm of athletics and coaching. Before and in the first days of the trip, we will be in close contact to make sure that each student athlete has an appropriate training regimen.
No. We’ll check in before the trip to see if you or your coach has any specific plans for you during the summer. We’ll never ask you to throw your training plan out the window, but we may have to be a bit flexible as we need to allow time for things like travel and adjusting to altitude. All our group leaders and coaches have experience working with training plans are happy to help you get in all the training you need.
Of course we can! If you send us an email, we can get you in touch with parents or past participants who would love to talk to you about how you will fit into the program.
Yes. Upon request, at the completion of the program we will provide each participant with a certificate indicating the number of community service hours served. If you need a specific school form completed, please forward it to us and we will document your hours as required.
At STRIVE, the safety of all our participants is our first concern. All of our group leaders are fully trained in CPR and First Aid and have a full first aid/medical kit on hand at all times. In the case of more serious issues, there are hospitals near the areas we’re based. Each STRIVE participant is required to provide proof of emergency medical and evacuation insurance prior to the start of the program. For all programs, students are registered with the US Embassy before travel begins.
See our page on Safety and Risk Management for more details.
The short answer is “no”. Our programs take place entirely at high altitudes where Zika is not present. For more info, read this longer post which includes links to CDC, etc.
Yes! We’ve had vegetarians, pescatarians, vegans, gluten-, dairy-, soy-, legume-, etc-free students over the years. Please let us know the specifics of your dietary needs with your application just so that can be prepared and can give you a sense of what your options will be for food in country. As with anywhere, if you are eating a very restrictive diet there will be less options available for you to eat than those that have no dietary restrictions. Good news is that plenty of food is available in both of our locations and it’s delicious. We’ll be able to point you in the right direction to meet all of your dietary needs and restrictions.
Once you’ve been accepted into a program, we will send you an information packet that gives you the answers to these and many other logistical questions. We also recommend that you check the US State Department travel site for more information on travel to Kenya or Peru.
High school participants are required to meet their group leaders and trip-mates in a designated US departure airport where they are chaperoned all the way to their program country, through customs, and back.
For more on high school travel, see our Flights and Travel Page.
College Interns are required to arrive in and depart from the starting point of their internship placement on their own accord, though STRIVE staff can help make arrangements.
Adults are required to arrive in and depart from the program country’s designated international airport in specified windows of time.
Families can use frequent flier miles only to book their travel between their home airport and the group’s US departure airport. This is due to STRIVE’s policy regarding chaperoned international flights and having the group fly together from the US to the program country.
For more info on travel, check out our Flights and Travel Page.
Almost always, at least one of our three program founders will be leading your trip. These three have been on the ground each summer for close to a decade and have an enormous amount of experience and connections to help make your summer as great and safe as possible. For outside staff, we have an extensive and thorough application process and we look for highly qualified individuals who have experience working and traveling with students, who are familiar with the locations in which they will be leading, and who have coaching experience. All group leaders are fully certified in Standard First Aid and CPR.
Cell phones and laptops are not allowed while on the STRIVE program. We fully believe that each participant will get more of their experience if they are fully immersed in the experience and we don’t want people to spend 3 weeks in a new, beautiful, interesting country with their eyes glued to their phone screens. Participants are allowed to travel with their cell phones for communication purposes but upon arrival in country, cell phones will need to be turned in to their group leaders for the duration of the program.
We recommend everyone bring a digital camera to capture moments and memories from events on the trip. Outside of a camera there are very few electronics that we would recommend bringing on our programs.
Yes! STRIVE ensures that each student calls home upon meeting their group leaders in the US Departure Airport, at which point they will be under the leader’s supervision for the remainder of their travels. Parents will also be alerted via email and social media postings when the groups have arrived in their program country and in their final “home base” in country.
Due to the fact that STRIVE is “unplugged”, communication with your son/daughter will not be available via their own phone on a daily basis. Group leaders will have cell phones that are available for students to call home. Students simply need to ask a group leader during a free period of time and they will be able to call home and give an update.
All of our adventures and exploits can be seen and followed on our social media accounts. Please check the STRIVE Facebook Page and Instagram account daily and you’ll get a very good idea of what we and your children are up to on a daily basis.
Absolutely. We expect all our student athletes to benefit from the daily running, swimming, and/or strength training regimen and look for participants who are enthusiastic and interested in the overall experience. The facilities in which we stay have been selected because they are well situated for athletic training across a range of sports. In the past we have had student athletes who are national caliber distance runners, but also athletes from the following sports: lacrosse, basketball, wrestling, crew, Nordic skiing, field hockey, ice hockey, soccer, football, and swimming.
STRIVE believes that learning about service is as important as the act of service itself. We work closely with our local communities to identify projects that are beneficial, accessible and reasonable for our groups to complete. While we can’t guarantee specific projects will be available we can tell you about past projects we have worked on.
In Peru, we’ll spend time working at the STRIVE Center, a year-round community center funded by STRIVE which offers free English classes to students and adults in the community. We’ve also helped out at a nearby animal sanctuary, done some work in Incan ruin sites, put together sports days for the community or even sponsored a 5k race in the Sacred Valley which requires lots of preparation and manpower.
In Kenya, some groups will work with KenSAP which helps some of the brightest Kenyans from under-served areas of the country prepare and apply for college in the US. You’ll also help at a local primary schools, assisting teachers in English, Math and P.E. classes. Typically, our groups in Kenya will be involved in some manual labor projects that might include painting, building Tippy Taps (hand-washing stations) or other projects.
As a part of our mission, STRIVE donates money to each of the communities with which we work each summer. However, we also strongly believe that students who raise money before spending time in the destination community will get more out of their program than those who don’t. Part of the STRIVE experience involves learning about local development needs and recognizing the impact that each individual can make. Even a small amount of money can make a significant difference within the areas we visit. Participants who have raised money (more than 75% of STRIVE participants raise money, with the average amount raised around $250) tell us that it’s an important part of their overall experience. Some gain such a passion that they continue their STRIVE community service relationships and fundraising efforts long after their return home.
Most certainly. Please let us know if you’d like our help in making any arrangements for your family. Our only restriction is that family members are not able to lodge with the groups while the programs are in session.
We’d love to. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and give us as much information as you have. We’ll be in touch soon!
Yes! STRIVE has our own financial aid program. Read more about that here.
Financial aid is currently only available for our main high school programs.
If you’re interested in the STRIVE College Intern Program but would struggle to pay the program fee, ask your school if they have any grants or stipends for unpaid internships. We’ve had many college interns pay for some or all of their expenses this way.
Many students have also had great success with personal fundraising through traditional fundraiser, crowd-sourcing, pledging, etc.
Lastly, you can always contact us if you have any questions or if you’re looking for more help.