Creating a more efficient way to give and receive help. That was the goal of Hobart College junior Tyler Terens of Scotch Plains, NY when he began working with his friend, former Lehigh University baseball player, Zach Gray, to launch STRIVR, an online community that makes it easy to give and receive help. Terens, a member of the Statesmen soccer team, has since spent a great deal of his time off the field marketing STRIVR, which just became available on the App Store on last Monday.
The free app is “Social media with purpose.” It is currently available for iPhone users and has been introduced on four college campuses this week, including Hobart, Lehigh, Syracuse and Wisconsin.
STRIVR is the brainchild of Gray who was able to get the app started when he was sidelined from the Mountain Hawks baseball team due to injury. Gray and Terens are friends from home and have teamed up to promote STRIVR.
In the app, users can post a request for help, which then appears, on one of two request feeds. Requests vary from something as small as the time of a campus meeting, to needing to find a tutor, to asking for a ride to the airport. Requests can also be filtered into certain categories that include school, moving, pets, rides, around home, and questions. These requests then can be displayed on the public request feed or it can be shared with only friends in an “Inner Circle,” all of which is filtered by proximity. Terens and STRIVR hope to expand the app beyond college campuses and see it as a means for people in all walks of life to ask for help whether it be requests for help moving or trying to find a babysitter.
In a time when anonymity in apps and on the Internet can create negative usage, STRIVR is hoping to give the option of anonymity to assist people in having the courage to ask for help. “If a student-athlete forgets what time a team meeting is, but is embarrassed to ask his or her teammates for the time, he or she could just post a request anonymously and have it answered quickly and easily,” said Terens. In addition, STRIVR hopes to encourage people to reach out for help by providing a forum for people to ask questions to an audience who is ready and open to helping others.
“The goal is to encourage people to go out and actually help each other,” said Terens. “There’s a study that says seven out of 10 people need help but aren’t comfortable asking for it. We’d like to help in changing that statistic.”
On the soccer field, Terens recently began his third season as a Statesman. In his collegiate career, he has played in 24 games and has posted six points on two goals and two assists.