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Mainers Make Strides Across the U.S. to Help Those in Need

Monday Maine Maven


Our Monday Maine Mavens today aren’t executive directors of organizations nor are they marketing moguls for Maine companies. Today’s mavens are instead two young men who, soon after graduating from college, packed a bag, said goodbye to their friends and families, and walked across the country in an attempt to make a difference in the world around them.

Nick Tucker and Sam Rouleau started a journey called “Making Strides: Rediscovering the Dream.”

The concept was simple: walk from York, Maine, to Santa Monica, Calif., and stop in communities to help people however they could.

Nick and Sam have a long and storied history together. Once rivals on opposing basketball teams, they found themselves eventually teaming up on the court and then in the classroom at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine. Nick and Sam partnered on many school projects and were the “go-to” duo for MCing events.

Nick and Sam then both attended Colby College where they graduated in 2010 with degrees in economics.

Determined not to get stuck in the “rat race,” Nick and Sam decided they were going to take a long walk. Wanting to serve their country in a unique and original way, their goal was to lend a hand to those in need while spreading a message of love and selfless doing for others.

The plan:

  • Embark on a walk from the coast of Maine to the coast of California.
  • Diligently seek out charitable opportunities along the way.
  • Offer their time and services to groups and individuals as they walked through their communities.
  • Meet the individuals who comprise the American struggle and document their stories.

Nick and Sam completed this journey earlier this year and are awaiting their next adventure.


1. Nick and Sam, what inspired you to go on this walk?

The idea of doing a walk was inspired by a book by Richard Paul Evan’s called “The Walk.” But it took far more than just the thought to inspire action however, and we were truly moved by the opportunity to do something grand and meaningful.

We are both dreamers, and it was that deep seated desire to make a difference that truly led us to undertake this daunting task.


Nick and Sam’s seven-month journey across the U.S.


2. What were your goals for the walk? Do you feel you reached them?

We wanted to spread a message of love and selfless doing for others. Being dreamers, we had a goal or a vision of a “pay if forward” movement that would grow throughout this great country.

We may never know the extent to which our journey impacted others, but we completed our walk from coast-to-coast while reaching out to others.

So we would say we reached our goals.


3. How did you use social media to document your walk?

Social media was a huge part of documenting our journey. We used WordPress for our official website, while supplementing that with a Facebook page where we would keep our followers updated throughout our trip.

Our attempt at maintaining a Twitter account was pretty sad. Neither of us are avid tweeters and often neglected it.

4. Did you receive any media attention along the way?

Before the walk began we received media attention from a local news station along with a couple of local newspapers thanks to a press release by NMC.

Once the walk was underway, we were interviewed by a couple small newspapers when someone was curious enough to stop and ask what we were doing.

We were able to have an interview over Skype with WCSH Channel 6 of Maine from our host’s house in Memphis, Tenn.

The coolest coverage may have been the feature Toms’ did of us on their blog.


5. What were the reactions of the people you encountered during your journey?

There was quite a range of reactions from people we encountered. Some would just stare at us blankly, and ask us to “come again.” Some would say how awesome it was and would follow by saying they always wanted to do something like that.

Most people thanked us for our efforts, and thought that what we were doing was inspirational.

We have to say that we received nothing but positive reactions mixed in with a couple “are you crazy?” stares and comments.


6. Do you plan to use social media or PR in the future in your careers?

In whatever the future holds, we both will incorporate social media and/or PR. It is a great way to help spread a message, gain a following, or promote a product.

Our world is shrinking and everyone is more easily connected due to social media. We embrace this change, and plan on taking full advantage of it in the future.


Connect with Nick and Sam through their Making Strides Facebook page or in the comments below.


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