Huntington High School class of 2003 graduate and motivational speaker, Chris Strub, 32, has been using his passion for traveling and networking to help those in need.
In the summer of 2015, Strub embarked on a cross-country journey that changed his life. He traveled all 50 states in 100 days, volunteering at a nonprofit organization in each state. He wrote a book about his travels: 50 States, 100 Days: The Book, and documented his travels on social media. The project was an intersection between his interests in journalism, traveling, and a social media target: to connect with the rest of the country.
“It dates back to Huntington,” Strub said. “I knew growing up that I wanted to be in journalism, but in the mid to late 2000s, the way in which people consumed their news changed: the internet came on strong, social media took off, and Facebook was introduced. I had a job with a local newspaper when I went to school in upstate New York, but I saw the way that people consumed information was changing very quickly and so I wanted to get more involved on the social media side of things.”
Strub also has a passion for exploration and giving back to his communities. In 2014 he quit his job to travel the country where he worked with different youth-oriented non-profit organizations in each state.
“Things never quite turn out the way that you anticipate coming out of high school. I’ve just tried to stay ahead of the trend from a digital perspective while also trying to make a positive difference in the world with a lot of nonprofits around the country,” Strub said
The experience led Strub to meet people from all walks of life who have a passion for giving back to their communities. “For me, social media has been an incredible blessing,” Strub said. He has met “some of the most interesting, talented, experienced, and generous people in America. It’s been a very eye-opening experience to learn firsthand what this country is about. I’m very proud of representing Long Island roots and trying to be a good ambassador for my hometown here in Huntington.”
Across the country, Strub was exposed to many different communities, each of which has a population of kind people willing to help out. “They differ from place to place but in our hearts we all are really trying to accomplish the same sort of thing which is to be proud of our friends and family and contribute to a community that aligns with our beliefs. I’ve tried to blur those lines between these regions and show people through my work that we’re not as different, especially within this country, as many people might think,” he said.
Today, Strub is a published author, YouTube personality, public speaker, and offers online courses on his website, teaching nonprofits how to utilize social media to build relationships and develop their brands.
One of the most important pieces of advice that Strub learned throughout his time in Huntington school districts, was the importance of one’s name. “I think a piece of advice that stuck with me the most going to school in Huntington was from junior high school.” Strub said. “That was in 7th grade from a math teacher named Mrs. Dick. I remember I was in advanced math class and we got back our test results and a majority of our class did terrible on this test. She didn’t raise her voice but she was confident in saying to each of us, ‘Remember that you need to take pride in everything you put your name on.’ Everything that you do, every option that you take, every test that you take, and every paper that you write is representative of who you are as a person. So, remember to always take pride in everything that you put your name on … I think that is a good compass to keep in mind with your actions day to day.”