As a Strive intern you will have many roles and responsibilities including, but not limited to:
Service. Strive is a service learning program for athletes, and thus, the service always comes first. This means service comes before training; every once in a while you might have to get up a bit earlier to complete your training if we have a full day of meetings or projects. We are committed to both educating our interns and high schoolers about responsible, ethical service and helping to make a positive, lasting impact on the communities in which we work. You’ll spend around 2-4 hours per day learning about and later planning, preparing, and undertaking a variety of projects. Bringing an open mind and positive attitude to these projects is a must.
Mentorship: Each and every one of our high schoolers looks up to you as a role model and has questions about college, athletics, or life in general. Each day we ask that you be available to exercise with our students (one morning session and one afternoon session). Please keep in mind that if you are a college athlete, these runs or workouts may be less rigorous than what you are used to and this may be another example of where your personal training will come second. Additionally, we’ll have activities in the evenings which you guys will help organize and lead; these might be watching a movie, playing cards, etc! The final mentoring responsibility will be giving a “Strive-talk” to your fellow interns and the group of high school students. This is your opportunity to choose a topic that’s meaningful to you and give a short talk and Q&A session – always a highlight for interns, Strivers, and staff alike.
Social Media. An important part of Strive is sharing what we are doing on the ground (the service learning, travel, and daily program life) with family and friends of current Strivers as well as past and future participants. You will have a turn at the helm of the blog and Facebook/Instagram/Twitter feeds, which should be updated on a daily basis. A second portion of our social media is getting video clips and photos of you and our kids exercising, teaching, or simply answering questions about their experience with Strive.
Exploration/Research. Get out and explore! Scouting out new hiking trails, running routes, and activities around town that the whole group can take advantage of will be an integral part of your role. We might even send you on a research mission to find a tractor that we can rent for a project we’re working on or to meet a prospective community service partner and make recommendations to us based on that meeting. Having extra minds around to help us solve problems is an invaluable part of our intern program.
Training. Finally, for some of you, the most important part. You will have the incredible opportunity to train in the beautiful mountains of Flagstaff. Living and training at altitude (and boosting your aerobic ability) and training on soft surfaces are just some of many benefits of training as a Strive intern. We hope that you’ll not only get fit but also learn about training from our coaching staff and from each other.
We’ve had Strivers run up to 100 miles/week but keep in mind that running that much at high altitude is going to wear you out and you will be need to be extra careful that you are getting enough sleep and food. Most of our interns fall somewhere in the 30-90 miles per week range and find that it’s pretty easy to get that amount of training in per week. Keep in mind that training is optional. If you simply want to be a part of our service program and help us mentor students, that’s just fine with us.
Outreach. Before your time with Strive, we may ask you to do some outreach to help share Strive’s mission and goals with other student athletes who might be interested in the program. This could be as simple as having a conversation with your high school coach or something more formal like hosting an info session in your hometown. It should be fun and relaxed and mostly an opportunity for you to share your excitement about your upcoming internship with Strive!
Food and Lodging
In Flagstaff, interns will spend their first nights camping as a group and working on getting trained for the upcoming program and building relationships with other interns and staff. When the high school participants arrive, we’ll meet up with them at our accomodations in a private home in the Flagstaff area. Interns will likely share living space in the house and may be sleeping on air mattresses or cots. There will be multiple bathrooms that everyone in the house will share. The setting is beautiful and the common-spaces (deck, living rooms, backyard etc.) are great.
You will be eating three meals per day at your campsite or the Strive house with food prepared by staff, interns and high school students. Making, planning and cooking meals will all be part of your duties as an intern. Because we are in charge of the food, we’ll have plenty of options available and everyone will enjoy cooking for others!
This will be enough food to fill you up at meals but it may not be enough if you are planning on running 70+ miles per week. If you are running that much, you should expect to supplement with some snacks from town or that you’ve brought from home.
The following are a few examples of what an average day will look like while you are on the ground and part of our programs. Keep in mind that your schedule will vary from day to day and come prepared with an eagerness to learn and be open-minded and flexible. Remember that you will be visiting, serving and living in a place that is likely very different from home. Plan to be busy as your days will be filled with activities, service projects, workshops and much, much more. Daily schedules are similar in all of our intern programs. We, at Strive, are committed to ensuring all of our participants have a wonderful time and with that in mind each group will be able to craft their daily and weekend schedules to some extent. We welcome and value feedback, and as long as your ideas and suggestions align with the values and mission of Strive, we will do everything we can to make sure those activities and ideas are put into action.
7:30am: Morning runs/workouts with our High School students.
10:00-12:00pm: Service Projects (working in a local school, manual labor projects)
1:00-1:30pm: Mentoring session with High School students
1:30-4pm: Service Learning and Block
4:30-6:00pm: Afternoon run/workout session
6:00-7:30pm: Group Dinner
7:30-9:00pm: Strive Talk and discussion with our High School Students
Note: Weekend schedules will generally look a lot different and will likely include a day trip to an exciting location or occasionally a rest or a relaxation day to regroup from a busy week of service, athletics and adventure.
Your program fee includes: accommodation, 3 meals per day, 24-hour-a-day support both on the ground and over the phone, your volunteer placement and support, and access to on-call US based medical staff. If you are planning on running 70+ miles per week, you should understand that you may need to supplement your three meals per day with snacks and other extras to make up for all of those calories you’re burning on a daily basis. See All the Details tab for more information regarding meals.
The program fee DOES NOT include: – Airfare or travel costs to Flagstaff – Other activities/outings* – Funding of Service Projects as Strive relies on outside fundraising money to fund all of our on the ground projects
*These include the Rim to Rim Hike and other day trip activites. All of these activities that we do with high school students will also be open to our interns and Strive will do our best to make those affordable to our intern. We highly encourage our interns to take part in these activities as they are an integral part of our programs!
**Note: The fees for the Flagstaff program are to cover the cost of housing, food transportation and support for our interns. We’ve done everything we can to try to keep this price as low as possible and are happy to discuss fees if you have any questions.
We take applications for the Strive College Intern Program on a rolling basis. The earlier you apply, the better chance you have of being accepted. In general, our programs start to fill around February, so you should be thinking about applying in the fall. That said, sometimes we still have openings at the last minute and have taken qualified applicants as late as April and May. Just email or call us if you’re considering applying and we’ll let you know if there’s still space!
We try to construct a team of interns that is strong in the sum of its parts and so our interns generally come from a variety of backgrounds.
No, you don’t need to be a serious runner or athlete. In fact, our high schoolers aren’t all serious runners or athletes, so we don’t want all of our interns to be serious runners or athletes either. Yes, we do try to have some high level athletes, but we also look to have some interns who may be club runners or other-sport athletes to show our younger students that there are lots of ways to “be an athlete.”
In many ways, the structure of all of our programs is quite similar. The broad-strokes, day-to-day schedules will look relatively similar, the focus on service, athletics, and adventure is still there, along with the interaction with high schoolers. All programs are located at high altitudes, have miles of dirt roads and trails to run on, and other exercise options available.
That said, the locations themselves are quite different and our international programs are significantly longer than our Flagstaff program. The Sacred Valley in Peru is vast, dry, and located high in the mountains at 9,700 ft. while the Rift Valley in Kenya is greener (and thus a bit wetter) and lower, at about 7,800 ft. Kenya and Peru, though both developing countries, are also very different places from a cultural perspective. Pisac, where Strive-Peru is based, is probably slightly more developed than Iten. More tourism comes through the town and thus things like restaurants, internet, and hot water are a bit easier to find. Flagstaff is probably a mix of the two. It comes in at approximately 7,000 ft, is fairly green and will likely get a few days of rain during the program. Flagstaff is very developed and all modern amenties can be found in the city.
Flagstaff has a great running culture and many professional athletes in the US make Flagstaff a base for their training activities. It might not have quite the same allure and fame as the Kenyan running culture but it does pretty well in its own right.
In contrast, we are very much creating our own running culture in the Sacred Valley. Strive has funded a gym which is part of the hotel where you’ll be staying and is equipped with weight machines, free-weights, stationary bikes, mats, etc. We also have a few mountain bikes you can take out on the roads. And between our staff and friends in Peru (Ty has befriended many of the elite runners in the region), we’ve got plenty of fast people to impart some wisdom and push you through your harder sessions.
Weekends are very much up to the group and will be decided by the High School participants, interns and staff together. We like to give you guys as much freedom as possible and a big part of that is planning how you want to spend your free time. There are plenty of options in the Flagstaff area which include: Slide Rock State Park, Montezuma’s Castle, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, slot canyons and way too many to list here. Some people will likely want to do their longer runs on the weekends as well, but we’ve found this is easy to fit in. The weekends is also time for doing laundry and catching up on communicating back home, as well as prepping for tutoring or whatever work you might be doing the following week.
One important note is that your program fee does NOT cover these outings (see Dates & Fees tab for details on what is/isn’t covered). Still, most of these activities are not super expensive. Going hiking or to state park costs nothing other than your food and water and possibly a small entrance fee depending on how things are charged at the particular park.
See the “All the Details” tab for a description of how food and meals work.
And yes, we can (and have) had interns who have been vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, non-gluten, non-dairy, you-name-it. If you have a very restrictive diet you may just end up eating a lot of the same thing, but it can be done. Let us know if you have any specific food issues about which you have questions.
Strive does have our own financial aid program, but unfortunately aid is currently only available for our main high school programs.
If you’re interested in the StriveCollege Intern Program but would struggle to pay the program fee, we’d recommend asking 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.
Safety has been Strive’s number one priority since Day 1 and every decision we make when running a program takes safety into account above all else. With 10+ years of expertise, we’ve established thorough risk management policies and procedures to give all of our participants the safest experience possible.