Skip to main content


A House is Not Built in One Day

By Samuel Attea ’22

When I first arrived as a first year student at the University of Dayton, there were a lot of things I did not know about the world or myself. Being the somewhat nerdy student in middle and high school who would become excited at the opportunity to take a map quiz and was enamored with all things history and politics, I knew more or less where my passions lay. However, it was not until much later in my college career that I began to envision how I was going to turn that passion into a purpose. 

In the Fall of 2020, Flyer Consulting was able to take on their second-ever international client - Fundacion Raiz - through the efforts of Dr. Maria Vivero, professor in the Department of Economics & Finance and a board member of the Raiz Foundation their partner nonprofit. I served as a semester-long consultant on the team’s engagement with this Ecuador-based nonprofit organization serving a variety of community needs.  Our efforts focused primarily on their CAEMBA program, which provides secure housing for vulnerable populations. It was started by Manuel Pallares and Cristina Latorre following earthquakes in the country which left more than 40,000 people homeless. Since then, volunteers with Fundacion Raiz have built hundreds of homes and shelters, schools, and even a community center and a church. 

 As a consultant, my job was to conduct research with the Flyer Consulting team, work closely with Cristina and Manuel to provide recommendations with the ultimate aim of supporting their nonprofit to expand their donor base into the U.S. What I loved most about the process was the creative and solutions-driven nature of our work. And I felt the opportunity to learn more about the world of marketing, accounting, and business development, and the opportunity to work with nonprofits serving areas of great need in their local communities was invaluable. 

Counting for the International Experience component of my International Studies major, this opportunity added a hands-on component to my in-class experience, and reflects the transdisciplinary nature of a University of Dayton education allowing me to gain the most from my experience last semester and carrying it with me well after I exit the doors of the UD arena on graduation day. 

The Common Academic Program (CAP) provides such flexibility to carve unique learning opportunities and a choice of courses which touch on my interests and experience in a more explicit way. Among those is the First Year Humanities Commons which instilled the critical thinking skills beneficial to a consultant, and my first year Communication 100 course which, although it was uncomfortable at the time, strengthened my public speaking and interpersonal communication skills. Another CAP course that has benefited me is the Economic Development & Growth (ECO 460) taught by Professor Barbara John in which I came to better understand the landscape of economic development and its intertwined relationship with health, education, and quality of life outcomes through analyzing and interpreting data. 

When students first arrive at UD, many words are thrown at them but the ones that seem to resonate, coming up again and again are: community, service, and the common good.  As my time as a student progresses, I have witnessed how accurate those terms are on our campus and the real opportunity to meaningfully contribute to this mission, especially through projects like mine with Flyer Consulting. Over the course of the semester,  I better understood the University of Dayton’s mission to promote the common good and be a constructive part of our global community. 

Nothing I did could ever match up to the service and impact Manuel, Cristina, the rest of the Fundacion Raiz team and volunteers have had on their local community in Ecuador, but it brings me joy to consider that in some small way I was able to have a positive impact on theirs and through the work of our team, they are better able to promote and achieve their mission. If I had to impart any advice on other students at UD, it would be to get involved, even - or perhaps especially - if it is something outside your comfort zone. This experience was not anything I would have envisioned during my first year, and such opportunities to get involved in meaningful, hands-on experiential learning are immense whether you are an engineer or business student, into computers or poetry, musically-inclined or a sports fan. By getting involved in some small way in all that UD has to offer, I have been able to, piece by piece, discover who I am and what my purpose is.  There are still a lot of things I am trying to figure out about myself and my calling, but that is okay. After all, a house is not built in one day.


Samuel Attea ’22 is a junior student pursuing a B.A. in Economics & International Studies with a concentration in Global Migration & Economic Development and has been a member of Flyer Consulting since Fall 2019. After graduation, Samuel is interested in pursuing work with the US Government or a NGO focused on issues related to international development, migration, or education or a career in journalism or law. 

Previous Post

Attending the 2021 Learning Teaching Forum? Here’s a DSJ Sessions Guide

The 2021 Learning Teaching Forum — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, January 8 — will focus on the most important lessons that educators at the University of Dayton have learned about teaching and learning since the spring 2020 semester. This blog highlights all sessions tackling equity, inclusion, diversity and social justice issues.
Read More
Next Post

Finding Passion and Hope While Celebrating Diversity

Amira Fitzpatrick ’22 reflects on how courses in the Common Academic Program prepared her to engage in her own history as well as the histories of other underrepresented groups on campus.
Read More