While most students spent their summer working, interning or spending time at home, Shayla Frederick stayed on campus planning a very important event for the Class of 2021—their New Student Orientation.
Serving as the Orientation Student Chairperson, Shayla helped to shape this year’s program introducing Villanova’s newest students to their home away from home. She oversaw a group of 118 Orientation Leaders and Counselors who welcomed 1,715 students on August 18.
The start of Shayla’s Villanova journey wasn’t exactly typical. Hailing from Colorado, she used an online college matching tool and Villanova popped up as a 99% match. Without visiting the campus, she applied and was accepted. She attended an Accepted Student Luncheon in Colorado where she met a Villanova alumnus who graduated from her high school. He raved about Villanova and convinced her that it was worth a visit—he even set up meetings for her with Villanova staff. Impressed by the alumnus’ passion for Villanova, she knew the Villanova community was something special. Shayla took a leap of faith and sent in her deposit.
In the fall of 2014, she arrived on campus for her New Student Orientation. “I just loved it,” she said. “My Orientation leader was so great at getting the group to bond. Those are early Villanova memories that I hold dearly.”
Shayla’s Orientation experience inspired her to apply to become an Orientation Counselor during her sophomore year. “The training was amazing,” she says. “We had people from many different backgrounds and I learned so much.” In her junior year, she served on the Orientation Steering Committee and helped plan the training for Orientation Counselors. That is where she discovered her passion. “I just love helping others develop their leadership skills and discover what they’re passionate about.”
Orientation takes Shayla and her team months of hard work to organize. From skits and workshops to social activities and entertainment, they create a four-day experience jam-packed with information and fun.
Her favorite part of the whole process? “I love the last day of Orientation and seeing the transition students have made from the first day. Last year, I sat by the Oreo and watched as Orientation Counselors stepped back, and students stepped up. To me, seeing groups come together and form friendships is priceless.”