Gillian Hixson '19 CLAS

Gillian Hixson

When I started at Villanova, I didn’t know what type of career I would pursue, but I did know one thing—I wanted to continue exploring my love of service. So, last year, I applied for a freshmen-only service program, Reaching Urban Individuals by Action and Love (RUIBAL).

Organized through the Campus Ministry Center for Service and Social Justice, RUIBAL provides first-year Villanova students the opportunity to tutor, mentor and coordinate activities for underprivileged youths in Philadelphia-area schools and community centers. I was assigned to volunteer at North Light Community Center in Manayunk, and I spent at least three hours each Tuesday working with various students. I truly enjoyed helping the kids and bonding with my fellow Villanovans—so much, in fact, that I’ll be continuing with RUIBAL as a student leader during my sophomore year!

Another experience that really opened my eyes has been my work-study job with Villanova’s Annual Fund team. This position gives me real-world experience outside of the classroom and exposes me to people who are passionate about what they do. 

My time working with the Annual Fund has also shown me the impact donors have on the Villanova experience—including my own. Donors who have supported Campus Ministry through their annual gifts make it possible for me to be a part of RUIBAL and have helped me become the person I am today. I hope they know how appreciative students are for the many opportunities to learn, grow and serve that donor support enables.