VUnited logo

VUnited is a student organization that seeks to enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities. This 6-week program exposes participants to a college experience with social and academic components as individuals work toward achieving a certificate from Villanova University.



VUnited Program Outline

VUnited participants at a table

VUnited is a two-semester program that runs for two hours on Saturday mornings at Villanova University. Our first semester is 6 weeks in the fall and provides life skills in the areas of basic math and finances, health and nutrition, cooking, professional skills, and public speaking. Our second semester is 6 weeks in the spring and expands on the knowledge learned in the first semester.

The VUnited mentor program pairs participants with a current Villanova undergraduate to foster a lasting social relationship throughout the program.


Weekly Goals

Participants become familiar with the program, including who we are, what we offer, and what we hope to leave you with.  

Each participant is matched with a current Villanova student mentor to act as a friend, teacher and supporter throughout and beyond the duration of the program. We hope to make Villanova feel like home via a short campus tour.

Week 2 focuses on budgeting small sums of money and the importance of saving. Stations include:

  • Comparing prices: generic versus brand names
  • Budgeting for an evening out
  • Smart shopping: needs versus wants

Week 3 focuses on you and how to be your best self through daily hygiene, healthy meal choices, stress management, exercise, and more.. We'll wrap up class this week with yoga!

After focusing on lifestyle choices in Week 3, we'll prepare healthy meal options during Week 4. As a group, we will put together an ingredient list, practice picking out items in a simulated grocery store, then work with one of Villanova's favorite chefs to follow a simple recipe and prepare meals... which we will, of course, eat when complete!

During Week 5, we will take time to talk about appropriate computer etiquette.

Stations include:

  • Email structure and features
  • Using search engines
  • Assessing appropriateness on social media

These workshops are designed to be applied to daily life as well as during the job application process, which we will discuss with a Villanova Career Center counselor.

You get to be the teacher now! Each participant will prepare a 2-3 minute presentation to speak in front of our small group about anything they are passionate about, which is a great interviewing skill. We will work on public speaking throughout the VUnited program to prepare. Additionally, we will wrap up our program with certificate distribution.




VUnited was founded by Morgan Sturgis '17 and Amelia Gabor '20 in 2016. VUnited is proud to partner with the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, Divine Providence Village, The Communities of Don Guanella, and the Villanova University Office of Disability Services.


Group image of VUnited members


Office Location
Connelly Center, Second Floor

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