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The RUIBAL Challenge: Reaching Urban Individuals By Action and Love

College male drawing with sidewalk chalk alongside a young boy

The RUIBAL Challenge is a weekly program in which first-year students serve K-8 students in Philadelphia schools and community centers. In addition, volunteers bond with the other members of their service group, take part in events that talk about social injustices present at the schools where we serve and advocate for positive change.   

We would love to have you join us this spring!! Registration for the Spring 2023 semester has been extended through January 6th. Please fill out our RUIBAL Registration today so that you don't miss it! Please email the Ruibal Team with questions or concerns. We would love to have you join us!

Promo Video: What do you love about RUIBAL?

Here's what you can expect as a volunteer:

RUIBAL offers weekly opportunities for volunteers to travel to Philadelphia schools and community centers to serve at their after-care programs as tutors and mentors.  Each group is led by 2-3 sophomore leaders who coordinate all the logistics of service: they drive the RUIBAL group to and from a school, serve alongside you, and lead the group in reflection and conversation during the van rides.  While your group is not at service, RUIBAL Leaders facilitate a strong sense of community within the group, lead the group in reflection opportunities, and facilitate group bonding.

Volunteers are assigned to serve at one of our five partner sites. Each site is unique in terms of how volunteers spend their time serving. At one school, we serve through one-on-one tutoring with homework or whatever subject the teacher assigns. In others, it is a mix of homework help, helping with snack/crafts/clubs, and playing with the students during free time. As a whole, our service is based on creating real, life-giving relationships with the students.

Groups serve Monday-Friday and volunteers are assigned to serve once a week. Depending on the school, RUIBAL volunteers will leave campus at either 2:30 or 3 pm and will return to  campus by 6 PM (with the exception of one group on Tuesdays that serves from 1:45-4:45 pm each week). In the application process, you tell us your schedule, and we will assign you to a site accordingly, if a slot is open (keep in mind, you must have the full 3 hour time chunk available in order to be placed). Placements are first come, first served.
Group of students looking up at a basketball net in amazement as one student pretends to be making a slam dunk.

In addition to serving weekly, our groups spend time hanging out together and building community. This is our epic Fall North Light Monday group submission that was featured on our RUIBAL Instagram!

We love our students!

During the Spring of 2020, Villanova students told the students at their partner schools how much they miss them during the coronavirus pandemic. They speak words of encouragement and gratitude, and they look forward to when they can be with their RUIBAL partners again. We hope it give you a sense of the spirit of RUIBAL!

Email us at if you have any questions about serving with us.

Due to the PA Act 153, all volunteers working with minors are required to complete their background clearances prior to the beginning of service. Please email us at for specific instructions on how to complete clearances.