University of Cincinnati senior Phil Riazzi has worked with The Fuller Center for Housing a time or two.
Actually, make that six.
Riazzi, who will graduate in April with a degree in architecture, serves as president of Serve Beyond Cincinnati, a student service group on campus that formed to encourage students to take alternative spring breaks.
And Riazzi is taking his next break a step further. After graduating, he will spend three months working at The Fuller Center’s blossoming community of La Florida in the mountains south of Lima. While there, he will work with three different Global Builders teams in addition to adopting a partner family on his own, raising funds for and leading the construction of their home.
“The Fuller Center and its mission to alleviate poverty housing all over the world has made a profound impact on my life. I’ve done six weeklong trips with The Fuller Center in my four years of college. With graduation rapidly approaching, I began to think, ‘Well, what’s my next level of commitment with The Fuller Center? What’s that gonna look like?’ I knew if there was an opportunity to further The Fuller Center’s mission after graduation then I’d be there.”
Peru is still fresh on Riazzi’s mind as he spent his most recent winter break on a Serve Beyond Cincinnati work trip with The Fuller Center.
“Call it chance, call it luck, call it destiny, but in talks with The Fuller Center, we discovered an opportunity to further the work in Peru. So I said, ‘That’s it. Let’s do it.’ Months later, I’m excited to say the plan’s in place.”
Simply put, Riazzi may be soon done with college, but he’s nowhere near done helping others.
“Through this, my hope is to bring more awareness to The Fuller Center worldwide, strengthen the La Florida community in Peru and also develop and grow as an individual. It all just boils down to I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to even do this. That’s exactly what this is — it’s an opportunity. Many people in my life, especially my parents, have put me in a place of opportunity — an opportunity to serve those who are underserved. Really, I’m the lucky one here.”
Fuller Center President David Snell had a chance to sit down with Riazzi during Serve Beyond Cincinnati’s alternative spring break in Americus, Georgia, last week and was impressed with his passion and leadership skills.
“Every now and then, someone comes forward whose heart is touched by this work and wants to get more involved with it, and that’s certainly the case with Phil,” Snell said. “He’s been on a number of work trips and is taken with what we’re doing and wants to make it a bigger part of his life. He’s a sharp young man, so we want him to be a bigger part of our lives.
“We’re very excited he’s going to go down to Peru and spend some time there,” Snell continued. “That on-the-ground, in-the-midst kind of effort will help convince him that this really is the Lord’s work and something he really wants to devote a significant part of his life to.”
In the 2-minute video below, Phil takes a break from his March 2014 alternative spring break trip with Serve Beyond Cincinnati to talk about his work with The Fuller Center and plans for Peru: