Leila Ayachi '11
Supporting Public Interest
When Hurricane Ike smashed into the coast of Texas, most of the world was still focused on the fallout from Hurricane Katrina. But Leila, who had just begun her studies at Villanova Law School, couldn't ignore the storm as the surging tides enveloped her hometown of Galveston. "Every inch of the island was underwater," Leila said.
In 2009, during her first year at VLS, Leila organized a spring break trip to Galveston where she and five other students teamed with a local public interest organization to provide legal services. "I didn't want able-bodied volunteers to be limited by the sparse media coverage," she said. "And it was easy for me to figure out where our help could be used the best."
The following year the trip to Galveston doubled in size and this year Leila hopes to introduce even more VLS students to her corner of Texas. "The students have been great," she said. "I think the entire mission upon which the school is based-volunteerism-means everyone is open to these ideas. Villanova is really good about supporting people who want to participate in public interest work."