Skip to main content

RUIBAL Volunteer Testimonials!

2019-2020 RUIBAL Leaders

"At the beginning of the semester I was very wary about joining anything, especially because I didn't know anyone and I feel that RUIBAL helped break me out of my shell.  I feel that this past year of this service has taught me so much in such a short amount of time and I feel that there is still so much to learn from the children of the schools. Additionally, the ability to leave the Villanova bubble and interact with these students who walk such a different path of life is eye opening to the privilege that I have at Villanova... Also, it is such a good feeling to walk down the stairs of St. Frances and see how the faces of the students change because they are so excited to see you." 

- Christina Ochs, 2019-2020 Volunteer

IMG_3848 (2)

"Joining RUIBAL my freshman year has by far been the best decision I have made since arriving at Villanova.  This program has allowed me to discover a love for service and impacted my life in more ways than I can describe.  Since my first visit to St. Rose I have felt grateful to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of children who have grown to feel like younger brothers and sisters.  There is a true feeling of community within the groups we are a part of as RUIBAL is filled with amazing people who are passionate about making a difference.  I'm very thankful that this program has opened my eyes to the injustices that exist within various underrepresented and underserved communities.  This has inspired me to educate myself and continue with RUIBAL for as long as possible."

- Jared Gabriel, 2018-19 Volunteer, 2019-20 Leader, 2020-21 Chair


"I have never been part of any club or organization that affected me as much as RUIBAL. I can't imagine not going every week to see my little friends at Saint I's and enjoying every minute that I am there with them. It has been said multiple times before, but the students that we volunteer with have done more for me and have taught me more about life than I could ever give back to them. I love being a part of RUIBAL because it gives me a different outlook on life. Our students do not care about money or jewels, instead they just care about how we treat them as a person. I would not be the same student that I am now if I didn't sign up for RUIBAL."

- Morgan Specht, 2019-2020 Volunteer

Henri St. I's Group Picture

"Service through RUIBAL has allowed me to step outside of myself more than any service program I’ve experienced; I am definitely one to seek a broader perspective of the world around me and RUIBAL has helped achieve exactly this. I think it has this really unique framework that facilitates mutually impactful relationships between volunteers and students that are truly lasting and meaningful. I couldn’t imagine my first two years at Villanova without seeing my “kids” at service each and every week. Not only this, but RUIBAL fosters relationships and healthy conversation with fellow Villanovans which has ultimately led to meeting some of my closest friends on campus. RUIBAL has been an integral part of my time at Villanova and has helped define the way I tackle present day life — by striving to build a community which creates change."

-Henri Doucet, 2018-present Volunteer, Leader, and RUIBAL Chair


Ellie Bilotta Fall 2019 pic

“RUIBAL was the first program I became a member of last year and it was where I found a connection with many people I never would have known. I do not only mean my peers in my group or my leaders, but also the children we interacted with. RUIBAL opened my eyes and my heart to people inside and outside of the "Villanova Bubble." I look forward to RUIBAL all week because hearing those children scream every time you walk down the stairs means something. RUIBAL, to me, was a highlight of my freshman year.”

-Ellie Bilotta, 2019-2020 Volunteer

"RUIBAL is the mini family I was looking for in attending Villanova. I really wanted to know a group of people well enough that I could eat meals with them, and go to them should I need any advice or someone to talk to. With the past two RUIBAL groups I have had, I really think I got that desired experience."

-Maddie Mullen, 2019-2020 Volunteer

Ella Brooke Fall 2019 pic

"RUIBAL was the highlight of my freshman year. Coming into Villanova I knew I wanted to take part in service and RUIBAL was just what I wanted. I immediately felt part of a community that shared the same values as myself. The program provided me a family"

Ella Brooke, 2019-2020 Volunteer

St. Frances Rain

"I signed up for the RUBAL program as a way to get involved and meet people. However, after our first visit to Saint Frances, I knew that this experience was going to be so much more. In our van rides back, we had open and honest conversations about social issues that I would not normally discuss with someone. I loved just how vulnerable everyone was, and just how interested and motivated they were to help people. RUIBAL provided me with leaders who truly were my mentors throughout this entire year, and I feel so lucky that I had the opportunity to connect with my amazing leaders. RUIBAL and the RUIBAL community was a huge part of my freshman year experience at Villanova."

-Colleen O'Connor, 2019-2020 Volunteer

"RUIBAL was the highlight of my freshman experience, though I only participated for one semester. What was particularly inviting was the emphasis on service AND bonding. While service is at the core, the coordinators put in great effort to create a sense of community. Through this, I felt we provided an even more effective and enjoyable experience for the students we served."

Cynthia Choo, 2019-2020 Volunteer

Megan Fitzpatrick Fall 2019 pic

"RUIBAL was one of the best decisions of my freshman year, and it was the first place where I found a home. It has been a blessing to go to St. I's every week and connect with the amazing kids there. They have taught me more than I could ever teach them, and I always look forward to their infectious energy. RUIBAL has inspired me to be more inclusive, positive, and joyous in all that I do."

Megan Fitzpatrick, 2019-2020 Volunteer

Jamie Auerbach Fall 2019 pic 3

"The community my group created at North Light was the highlight of my freshman year.  Every Tuesday, I was able to set aside all of my stress from homework and focus on serving with my friends at North Light.  The kids I worked gave me happiness that helped me through the rest of the week, especially right before exams or midterms."

Jamie Auerbach, 2019-2020 Volunteer

"RUIBAL provided me with some of my favorite memories of freshman year. I created friendships within my group that will last a lifetime and also formed bonds with the students that I know I will remember forever. Additionally, these three hours every week provided me with a distraction from whatever was stressing me that week. My leaders were amazing at getting us excited for service every week. We formed a very close group and at the beginning of freshman year it was nice having a group of people that shared the same interests and had the same values as me."

Emily Pintarelli, 2019-2020 Volunteer

Katherine RUIBAL 2020


"RUIBAL redefined 'service' for me. Prior to this program, I often thought of 'service' solely as grand acts and big sacrifices. I had seldom interpreted 'service' as small acts (patiently helping a student with homework, attentively listening to another's stories, etc.) RUIBAL approaches service as an attitude not just an act. Service embodies the Christian ideal of "loving your neighbor", and RUIBAL is proof that service betters our communities daily. RUIBAL is special because it emphasizes commitment. Spending time with the students each week is very impactful, as it encourages trust and promotes reliability in the developing relationship…. I also found friendship among my Villanova group as we traveled, served, and reflected together (let's not forget RUI-bonding!). As a freshman, it was encouraging to have a group of like-minded students to spend time with. The message of community which we promote at our sites ought to be the same love and respect we show for one another on campus…RUIBAL brings awareness to inspire change."

-Katherine Dzwonczyk, 2019-2020 Volunteer