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!
Any students who want to explore new cultures and countries and are also committed to their athletic training. We expect all participants to be open-minded and interested in the activities they’ll be engaged in and to enjoy filling each day with exercise, service, and new experiences. We are less interested in your talent or speed than your commitment and enthusiasm. If you are a recreational runner or simply run to stay in shape for another sport, you are certainly welcome, as long as you are prepared to push yourself and challenge yourself, both athletically and culturally.
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 athletes, so their training needs and routines varied significantly. Students also join STRIVE programs from all over the country, meaning that their school calendars (and therefore training schedules) begin and build at very different times. So the mileage/training that you do during a STRIVE trip will depend on your personal training goals, your individual fitness level and abilities, and your adjustment to the altitude. All of our group leaders are experienced and knowledgeable in the realm of athletics and coaching. Before the trip, we will be in close contact to make sure that each student athlete has an appropriate training regimen.
Yes and no. We will ask all participants for any particular training requirements in advance in order to create appropriate training groups. The group leaders will work with the plans that your coaches outline but will also use their experience and knowledge of the altitude to safely optimize your training in each of the locations.
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. In addition, please feel free to read and view some recent testimonials (click here for more).
Yes. Upon request completion of the program we will provide each participant with a certificate indicating the number of community service hours. 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. The STRIVE tuition fee includes medical insurance, including a medical evacuation policy if necessary (for the Peru program the insurance comes with the required ISIC). For Kenya, STRIVE also provides political and security evacuation insurance. For all programs, students are registered with the US Embassy before travel begins.
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.
Unless they are particularly complicated, the accommodations we’re based in are fairly experienced in working with guests to accommodate specific diets. Please let us know the specifics of your dietary needs and we’ll let you know what can be arranged.
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.
We will work closely with all participants in coordinating travel so that groups of students can fly together to and from each program. Developing departures groups among students from common airports around the US is possible. Our group leaders arrive in each country in advance of the participant groups and stay until the last flight departs, so they will meet students in their arrival airport. The arrival airports in Nairobi and Lima are very small and straightforward to navigate, even for a first-time traveler. Group leaders will be waiting at each airport to greet all arrivals and transfer them to the hotel. If you are particularly concerned about travel arrangements please contact us and we can discuss additional options.
We allow families to make their own flight arrangements in order to keep the costs for participants as low as possible. This means that as long as you’re able to find flights on the specific days that begin and end a program and the student will be arriving during the hours our group leaders are available to meet arriving participants, then you are free to buy the best fares, with or without frequent flier miles.
We look for highly qualified individuals who have experience working and traveling with young adults, who are familiar with the locations in which you will be traveling, and who have some coaching experience. All group leaders are fully certified in standard first aid and CPR. For more on our group leaders, visit our staff bios page (click here for more)!
These items are allowed, although we hope that you’ll limit their use in order to enjoy your new surroundings and develop relationships with others in the group and community. Further, you must be aware that when traveling to a foreign country, certain possessions attract unwanted attention so should be very carefully used in public settings. We cannot be held responsible for the theft of any valuables during your trip.
STRIVE ensures that each student calls home upon their safe arrive in their destination country using a Group Leader’s phone. Internet accessibility continues to improve so we anticipate that access to email should be possible nearly daily. You should also be aware that international calls to and from cell phones can be very expensive. That being said, STRIVE leaders carry international cell phones at all times and students are always allowed to use them to call home if necessary.
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 are 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 who play hockey, basketball, or swim.
STRIVE identifies projects and groups which are accessible, interesting, and will benefit from the physical and financial help that student participants can provide. 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 school to teach, play, and help with renovations. In Peru, you will work closely at a local school teaching English and interacting with the kids. Past trips have also used their donation money to help build or refurnish part of their school.
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 fund raising efforts long after their return home.
We want as many people as possible to be able to participate in a STRIVE program. With this in mind, we do offer financial aid (click here for more info) for qualified applicants who we think will both benefit from and benefit the program. Please fill out and send in our Financial Aid Application (click here) if you think this may apply to you. In addition to this, many students have had great success with personal fund-raising to help cover the cost of their trip. Please feel free to look at some of the discussion forum pages of STRIVE’s facebook page to get some ideas for your own fund-raising or cost lowering strategies.
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!