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The RUIBAL Program

College male drawing with sidewalk chalk alongside a young boy

RUIBAL is a weekly program in which first-year students serve K-8 students in Philadelphia schools and community centers through tutoring, mentoring, and building mutually-beneficial friendships with the children at service. Villanova students are put in groups with fellow Villanovans who have a passion for service and justice work. 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 examine the ways in which their own lives are impacted by these injustices. 

RUIBAL volunteers commit to serve for three hours one day each week throughout the semester. Opportunities are offered Monday-Friday between the hours of 1:45-6pm. 

Registration for the Fall 2023 semester is OPEN! Complete the regstration form TODAY so you don't miss it! Priority registration will be given to those who complete the registration form by the end of the day on Friday, September 1. 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 1:45, 2:00, 2:30, or 3:00 and return within three hours of their departure time. In the registration 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.

The 3 Pillars of RUIBAL:

The 3 Pillars of RUIBAL:
An image drawn by a student at St. Ignatius of Loyola / Our Mother of Sorrows showing gratitude for the Villanova students who attend service weekly.
  1. Service: Empower youth to value education by serving as a positive influence in their lives. RUIBAL volunteers build mutually-beneficial relationships with the youth they meet at service. Youth at service sites notice when RUIBAL volunteers are absent because our volunteers leave a lasting impact on the students at service, and RUIBAL volunteers feel like part of their week is missing when they are unable to attend service. Because of this, RUIBAL encourages volunteers to attend service as often as possible, making a true effort to have service become a way of life and not an activity that is "done."

  2. Relationships: Form meaningful relationships with your peers and youth!

  3. Social Justice: Better your understanding of the various ways social issues show up for yourself and our community members.

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.