WorldStrides is celebrating 50 years as the leader in student travel by sharing the stories that have shaped our company’s past and will propel us into the future. Throughout the year, we will highlight stories from our history, many of the people who have made us what we are today, and some of the special ways travelers have been impacted by their experiences in our blog series, 50 Years of WorldStrides Stories.
Bethany Spiva is a WorldStrides intern. She has traveled with WorldStrides as a student, and as a chaperone for her mother Cynthia’s WorldStrides trips to Washington, D.C.
Positive interactions with people who enjoy what they do have characterized each and every interaction my mom, Cynthia Spiva, has had with WorldStrides over the last eight years.
An administrator and teacher at a school in Bakersfield, California, my mom began leading our school’s annual 8th grade trip to San Diego. (By the way, this was the same year I went on the program!)
“The San Diego trip was fun, but I always wanted to take my class to Washington, D.C., because that’s what I spend the year teaching in history,” Cynthia says. “We learn all about the ins and outs of the American government, and I wanted to show them that what they were learning about is real, and it’s amazing.”
In 2012, she decided to follow her dream of taking her students all the way to Washington, D.C., to experience the documents, places, and history about which they learned. It was a big change for her, the students and the parents.
“When I started leading the San Diego trips, I didn’t know the scope of WorldStrides,” she says. “That trip was short, simple and easy. But when I decided to take students to D.C., it required more. It was five days instead of three. It was plane travel instead of train travel. It was all the way across the country instead of just four hours south.”
She speaks highly of the people who worked with her through this transition. “I began working with the account manager that I still have now, and we built a relationship that has only gotten stronger. Every person at WorldStrides that I’ve talked to have been more than willing to help and encourage the parents and me in any way that they can!”
My relationship with WorldStrides grew too. As of today, I have been on 3 trips with WorldStrides – one to San Diego and two to Washington D.C. as a chaperone. While traveling on one of the recent D.C. programs, I started wondering if I could intern with the company. Starting in June 2016, I began an internship with the marketing department at WorldStrides. Just like my mom, every interaction I’ve had at this company has been welcoming and kind.
I’ve been on both sides of the company now, and I can confidently say that the employees of WorldStrides work hard to provide a quality experience from every angle.
My mom put it best – “When you work with this company, you don’t feel like you’re lost in dealing with a large company. WorldStrides feels small and personalized; the people who work there make you feel comfortable every step of the way.”