The RUIBAL Challenge is an All-Freshman service program that allows a group of first-year Villanova students the opportunity build community by volunteering one day a week (3-6p) to serve and support children in inner-city Philadelphia schools and community centers.
Purpose of RUIBAL Challenge
The RUIBAL Challenge hopes to build strong partnerships and relationships between Villanova students and the students and communities they serve with. During RUIBAL, freshmen serve as tutors, mentors, and activity coordinators, including opportunities for sports, drama, the arts, dance... just about any interest a Villanova freshmen could bring to the grammar school children, including homework help. There are four main goals of the program: to engage first-year students in building community both with their peers and with the students at the schools in which they serve; to invite freshmen in Villanova’s tradition of service and to contextualize an understanding of service which is grounded in partnership; to help freshmen discover their own “God-given gifts and talents” which will help them become life-long agents of social change, and to create long-term partnerships which forward the mission and ministry of the school communities who partner with the program.
Who will be selected to serve?
In order to honor participants’ interest and commitment to service, we accept applications on a first come, first served basis. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.,
“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
RUIBAL Challenge, a freshman-only certificate program, allows first year Villanova students the opportunity to use their unique gifts and talents to build relationships with Philadelphia students. Our volunteers also have the chance to build community with other freshmen in a unique environment. The program provides a framework in which students can learn about the justice issues which necessitate this kind of service, and reflect on how the experience of service impacts their own understanding of themselves, their world, and their spirituality.
Students serve in the spirit of St. Thomas of Villanova, who dedicated his life in service to the poor. In the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching which emphasizes a preferential option for the poor, a commitment to the Common Good, and the pursuit of solidarity, RUIBAL calls students to put their faith into action by practicing a love that does justice, building a community which creates change, and discovering a commitment which can transform their lives.
How can I learn more?
For further information see your Hall's Campus Ministry Intern or contact the RUIBAL Program Coordinator, Lisa Mehalick, St. Rita's Hall Room 112, firstname.lastname@example.org, 610-519-5178.