René was born and raised in Conroe, Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M University as a part of the Class of 2018 with a degree in Urban and Regional Planning. René enjoys hiking, reading, live music, and the Houston Astros. She will be serving in Philadelphia with the Augustinian Defenders of the Rights of the Poor and is excited about living city life, experiencing the Northeast, and hunkering down for her first true winter experience.
I, René Schulze, commit myself to be an Augustinian Volunteer, to live simply, serve ADROP, and welcome the challenges of community life and the pursuit of God’s greater plan for myself.
Share one of your favorite quotes.
“Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” -Plato
How did you develop a passion for service?
When I was young, probably three or four years old, my mom would take me with her to volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul. I loved going and doing my part to help others, even if it was only though opening bags for people to take their new clothes home. My parents continued to lead by example and serve in my community in a number of ways. They showed me that service was something that was expected of me but could still be a joy. As I grew up, service became a way for me to connect with others and grow in friendship. It became something I genuinely enjoyed and sought out because it helped me understand my purpose for being put on this earth. Throughout high school and college I came to understand that Christ exists in all of us and through service we have the opportunity to both know God and serve him.
Name one of your favorite musical artists.
Kings of Leon
What’s a favorite book of yours or a recent book you’ve read?
“Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson
Share an issue you’re passionate about and explain why.
I am passionate about preserving our nation’s national parks, natural lands, and historic places. Growing up, my family’s vacations were usually to national or state parks and that is where my love and connection to the outdoors began. I think it is important to protect these places for people to use and for future generations to experience as well. It is important to me that people get outside and encounter the world around them, especially the natural world.
Best moment as an AV to date?
Going to the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia. I had heard of her before but I had no idea of her fascinating and courageous story. The Shrine itself was beautiful, of course, and now I am captivated by St. Rita. I will keep her close to me during this year of service and hopefully after.
What do you like most about living in your new city so far?
Philadelphia is a very active and vibrant city. I love all the activity, the history, the architecture, the diversity, and how simple it is to navigate. I am excited to explore and make it my home during my service year.
One word that describes your community-living experience is…