- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: Kenya, United States
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Provided By: Independent Provider
- Session Start: July
- Session Length: Three Weeks
- Entering Grade: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Community Service
- Sub-Categories: Football, Lacrosse, Running, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Youth Outreach
- Selective: No
- Ages: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
- Minimum Cost: > $3,000
- Credit Awarded: No
STRIVE Trips international immersion programs are specifically designed to give high school student-athletes an opportunity for a real-life, community-based learning experience. Train at a high altitude alongside the world's greatest runners. Volunteer at a local community, as well as discover the wonders of Kenya.
STRIVE has been called “the world’s coolest running camp” but it’s really so much more. Yes, you’ll spend 3 weeks training at altitude in the world-famous High Altitude Training Center where you’ll bump shoulders with Olympians and record-holders. But you’ll also learn how to serve a community, what the real meaning of “Hakuna Matata” is, and if you can hang with a Kenyan fartlek. The grand finale? A safari - don’t worry, you won’t be running near the lions.
Located at 8,000 ft above sea level, with majestic views into the valley, Iten is the perfect place to follow in the steps of hundreds of elite runners on the famous red-clay roads of Kenya. The crisp morning air makes it great for a morning shake out run, while the afternoon sun is just warm enough but not too hot for a great workout. In between, visit a number of service projects with which STRIVE has fostered connections over the years. On the weekends, choose your own adventure as the group will head off to explore Iten and the surrounding countryside.
As with all STRIVE programs, the first step in service must be learning how we can serve the community we’re in. What are the needs of the community? What are we qualified to do? What are the potential pitfalls of our work? How can we make sure we’ll be having a positive and lasting impact?
Since our founding, STRIVE has been helping with a variety of projects at Kamirany and Kiptabus primary schools. Fundraising efforts will be used for building projects, beefing up the libraries with learning materials, and refurbishing classrooms that have been worn down by the harsh rainy seasons of Kenya. You may also help to teach Mathematics, English, and P.E. alongside Kenyan teachers.
Cultural exchange will be an ongoing part of your experience as you help KenSAP students, Kenyan high school graduates that will be attending colleges and universities in the States, prepare for their entrance exams and essays. Don’t worry, it won’t all be hard work! You’ll also enjoy sharing stories and playing board games with KenSAP students in the evenings or hanging out with St. Patrick’s Secondary School students while assisting them with college applications and preparation for their national exams.
The HATC and surrounding Kenyan countryside have all the basic needs of a budding athlete. Runners can head out on the red clay roads and join barefoot school children or elite marathoners on the hills of the Rift Valley. Use the newly built Mondo surface track for a speed workout or hit the weights in the first class fitness center facilities located within the HATC.
Your everyday life in Iten will be an adventure in itself! Walking to and from school each day or simply exploring the small town -center can be an eye-opening experience. Weekends will allow time for your group to explore even more of the Rift Valley – trips to take a boat ride in Lake Baringo to see fish eagles doing their thing, a visit to the tiny town of Kitale – home of professional runner and friend of STRIVE Wesley Korir, or even a chance to witness the death-defying cliff jumpers of the Kerio Valley doing some amazing stunts. Your adventure culminates at the end of your program with a visit to the Masai Mara Game Reserve. You’ll travel by jeep during the day, sleeping in rustic bungalows (that still have warm showers and lights!) Accommodation: At the High Altitude Training Centre, where you’ll stay for most of your trip, you’ll be in a room with 1-2 other STRIVE participants, complete with ensuite bathrooms and solar heated showers. Hang out in the well maintained pool area or manicured lawn – a great place to relax after a hard day of work and training. From your rooms, head over to the dining room next door where the in-house chefs cook up a mix of tasty western and local fare specifically designed for athletes in training.
The HATC was a beautiful place to stay. It's not every day that you get to train in the same gym as Olympic athletes. Group leaders were very helpful, nice, understanding and as organized as Africa will allow one to be. I also found it so easy to run! And the outings were absolutely incredible experiences, not just the destinations, but the roads to them as well.- Student - September 2, 2011
Thank you so very much for a wonderful life experience. The boys had such a wonderful time on so many levels. The world is now a whole new place and I can see how it has already changed our son for the better. I know that a lot of work goes into the planning of such a trip and it went through to the end without a hitch. Send our thanks to the group leaders also, they took such good care of the group.- Parent - August 26, 2010
Thank you so much for giving my son the most amazing memorable meaningful experience! I never imagined when he found this program the giant impact that being in Iten would have on him! His pictures and videos are beyond amazing! He will carry this journey with him forever. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement along the way.- Parent - October 15, 2010
As a student who had never visited Africa or gone on a safari before, STRIVE served as an absolutely incredible opportunity to experience a wide variety of adventures that Africa had to offer. Not only was I able to train with motivated and hard-working peers, which in itself was a privilege, the cultural experience provided was like nothing I had ever come across before. The most incredible of all was how safe I felt during the entire trip. The degree of comfort, convenience, and safety provided during the session was beyond what I could have imagined.- Student - September 1, 2010
STRIVE Peru was an organized, fun, and well thought out program. The staff were very accommodating to personal needs and preferences while ensuring that we were stretching ourselves in a multitude of ways. The primary goal of the program was teaching us how to engage with service thoughtfully and in a productive manner. We learned about the pitfalls of service and the negative implications of poorly thought-out service. I particularly noticed and appreciated how STRIVE was open to critique, invariably attempting to improve their own quality of service. After learning about service, we participated in a few service projects, ranging from teaching English to building a community center, brick by brick. This program is unique among high school travel and service trips because of its small size, running opportunities, and its learning about service curriculum. I would highly recommend this program to any adventurous high schoolers looking to improve themselves, their running, and their knowledge about community service.
Strive gave me such an amazing experience. Not only was i able to run at altitude , i also got to interact with high schooler's that also love to run. Furthermore teaching kids English helped me better my spanish. Strive is a very well rounded program and it gives many different experiences all in one trip. I will cherish the experience i had with Strive forever.
I was a part of strive strips two years ago. I can't tell you how great the experience was. To start I have never grown relationships with 14 people so fast in my life. Second the bond I got to make with the group leaders was very strong and I still contact them to this day. They are the perfect combo of teacher and friend, which is very hard to balance. The places we get to run and hike and marvelous. The experience with the kids was unforgettable. The friend I went with and I have something that we bond over and talk about still to this day. I cannot imagine my life without that summer it was tremendous.
As a former Striver, I can say with 100% certainty that if you're a student athlete who wants to travel, this is the organization for you. For starters, the group leaders are wonderful people; they genuinely care about each individual in the group and look out for everyone's best interests. They also become friends and people you can go to talk about something or even just to hang out. They create a comfortable environment that is crucial in having a good time in a foreign place. Not only are the leaders awesome but the itinerary was full and very entertaining. You get a workout in every day, visit local markets, meet new people, get much practice in the native language, go sight seeing, and get pretty much anything you would want out of an international trip. Lastly, the relationships you build with everyone in the group are meaningful, lasting, and will ensure that you will never forget you're Strive trip. I highly recommend STRIVE.
Phenomenal trip. The experiences there stay with you for the rest of your life.
The BEST 3 weeks of my summer!
Amazing trip and a life changing experience. I had the best summer ever and am so grateful that I went on the trip. The leaders were amazing and so were the kids on the trip.