Service & Justice Experiences (SJE)

Service Break Experience Program

Service and Justice Experiences provide opportunities for students, faculty, staff and alumni to serve locally, around the United States, and abroad during university breaks.  Participants in the program:

  • Serve with people and partner organizations who work every day to improve the lives of impoverished and marginalized people in their own communities
  • Build community within their groups and begin to develop relationships with the people with whom Villanova partners
  • Complement class work with first hand experiences of life at the margins of society and exposure to the knowledge and insights of people they encounter
  • Explore their spirituality and develop a deeper relationship with God while living out the Gospel value
  • Examine issues of injustice and develop a life-long commitment to working for the Common Good

Advisors are faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Villanova who:

  • Participate in group activities before, during, and after the service break week to become a part of this unique community.
  • Are responsible for responding to emergencies and other serious matters during the experience.
  • Insure that University policies and protocols are followed.
  • Work as a team with the student leaders
    • Supporting them in their leadership
    • Planning preparation meetings and group activities
    • Engaging in daily check-ins during the week to review the day and discuss the following day.
    • Assisting in planning and leading reflections.
    • Monitoring the budget and spending during the week.
  •   Engage in the entire experience and have a tremendous time doing so!

If you are interested in being an adviser, please complete an interest form.

Service and Justice Experience Student Leaders are Juniors or Seniors who have participated in at least one service break experience and want to enter deeper into the experience and lead their peers by:

  • Establishing and maintaining contact with their site to confirm details related to accommodations, schedule, meals, etc.
  • Selecting group members.
  • Working as a team with their advisor(s) especially with:
    • Managing group dynamics before, during and after the break experience.
    • Planning and leading group meetings and daily reflections
    • Insuring that the group arrives at their scheduled locations each day on time.
    • Encouraging each member to fully embrace and participate in the experience.
    • Enforcing safety during the work experiences, down times, and during travel.
  • Insuring that all paperwork is completed and submitted in a timely fashion.
  • Engaging fully in the experience, learning from their group and the community they encounter, and taking this experience with them in their future endeavors.
  • Having fun doing so!

Apply here!

“…The most important part of this experience was not the tangible work we put in, but rather our immersion into the community, our attempt at solidarity with the individuals that we encountered, and the mutual acceptance and welcome that was promoted.“

—Denis Whelan '14 



For more information about the Service Break Experience Program visit us in St. Rita Hall or contact:

Kate Giancatarino 
[610] 519–6285

Tim O'Connell 
[610] 519–4084