Enhancing Community Virtually

Three young pioneering entrepreneurs promote radical innovation through fitness and charity

Article by Sweat X Founders

Photography by Lesson Medrano

Originally published in Austin Lifestyle

Sweat X Serve is a donation-based virtual fitness space to support COVID-19 relief efforts. We teach various fitness classes via Zoom, including yoga sculpt, barre, pilates, and more. All of our instructors are certified in their specific class style. We have weekly guest instructors that teach various class styles. 100% of the proceeds raised will be donated to the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund.

When COVID-19 hit Austin and our daily lives changed, we came together to brainstorm ideas on how we could help out during quarantine. As pre-healthcare professional students, we understand the severity of COVID-19 and the implications brought about with it. We are all certified fitness instructors and we realized we can use our unique talents and do our part to help out in this crisis. That's when we came up with our organization Sweat X Serve. We are passionate about helping our community while doing what we love: teaching fitness classes and connecting the mind, body and spirit. Our mission is to help our community during the COVID-19 pandemic not only through donations to a cause, but also through connecting individuals together virtually while exercising. 

Our classes are donation based and 100% of the proceeds are donated to the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. This fund provides healthcare providers with essential supplies and protective equipment, helps pay clinicians and staff, and aids in providing testing and care for COVID-19. During the first two weeks of June, we donated 100% of the contributions from our classes to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to support racial and social justice. 

Sweat X Serve was founded by two UT Austin students, Ingrid Villarreal and Becca Friday, and by a St. Stephen’s Episcopal School student, Isabella Villarreal. 

Ingrid Villarreal - Certified Yoga Sculpt Instructor through CorePower Yoga and currently teaches at the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Recreational Sports. I am certified in Administering Emergency Oxygen and certified in Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED through the American Red Cross. I enjoy sharing my passion for yoga with others. When the coronavirus hit, our day to day lives completely changed and I was no longer able to see the familiar faces in my weekly Yoga Sculpt classes. Yet, Sweat X Serve defies this, our classes not only connect individuals together through fitness, but also through a purpose to help with COVID. I found a way to not only unite the community but to also include others who previously could not attend my classes through our online platform. Service has always been an important part of my life and I am grateful that our organization benefits the Austin community. 

Isabella Villarreal - I am a certified Pilates Instructor through the American Sports and Fitness Association. Additionally, I am certified in Administering Emergency Oxygen and certified in Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED through the American Red Cross Association. Due to my scoliosis diagnosis, I turned to fitness, especially yoga and pilates, to aid my back pain, which was recommended by my orthopedic doctor. Since then, I have found my love for pilates and I am grateful to be able to share this with the Austin community, especially during this time. 

Becca Friday - Certified Barre Instructor through Pure Barre. First aid & CPR certified She met Ingrid in her intro chemistry class her freshman year & they instantly clicked on another level due to their similar interests & drives. Ingrid, Becca, and Isabella decided to join forces & do something this summer that would contribute to their community & take advantage of their certifications as instructors. Becca was motivated to make a difference, however small, during this time of chaos in the world & help to encourage those to stay active & positive in the midst of stressful situations. She loves that her gift is not only benefiting those who take her class, but also helping the local Austin Dell Medical School (where they chose to donate 100% of proceeds). 

We wanted to help out our community during the COVID-19 pandemic while doing what we love. Since we are all fitness instructors, we decided to launch our organization. 

Social distancing can often cause many to lose their sense of purpose, yet, fitness, regardless of COVID, is a great way to reconnect with yourself and with others, and makes you feel your best. 

Sweat X Serve has been a great opportunity for us to learn how to run a business including management, recruiting instructors, and organizing and planning the content of the classes. As pre-healthcare professionals, our future venture will be related to the business of healthcare where we plan to use the skills we have developed with Sweat X Serve. 

To participate in a class and to receive the weekly schedule please email us at For frequent updates and our weekly schedules, follow us at @sweatxserve on Instagram. We have done private classes for organizations, clubs, and businesses that were interested in donating to our cause. If your organization is interested in a private class please email us at 

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