Robert is a fourth-year in the Batten School majoring in religious studies.
What lead you to getting involved with the Haven and Alpha Phi Omega?
When I first got to UVA, I wanted to make sure that my college experience involved learning about and serving the community, and I was particularly attracted to the Haven because of how it emphasized the dignity of homeless people. After volunteering at the Haven, I was seeking more of a community of volunteers, so I decided to rush APO.
What's been the most rewarding aspect of volunteering at the Haven?
Definitely the relationships I've been able to develop over the past three years, whether with staff members or guests of the Haven. It's particularly rewarding when I can use someone's name when I'm serving breakfast (which is often made from local produce, and I love sustainable food systems).
What would you to say to someone thinking about joining APO or volunteering at the Haven?
By volunteering with APO and at the Haven, I think I've become a better community member and have invested time in building relationships with like-minded people. Volunteering in the community keeps me inspired, energetic, humble, and always leaves me thinking.