WFU, SPGSF – Undergraduate
Paul has volunteered with United American Indian Involvement (UAII) and Fresno American Indian Health Project (FAIHP). he was a camp counselor/first aid person for UAII’s Robert Sundance Summer Camp . His responsibilities included facilitating activities with 5-12 year olds, distributing morning and night time medications and being on site first aid. This camp consists of two 1-week camps each summer. For FAIHP he was a Clan Elder for two Gathering Of Native Americans (GONA) camps. One was for Indigenous teens also in foster care. Paul was responsible for guiding teens through activities and encouraging participation. He also doubled as first aid.
The GONAs usually happen during the summer. During the regular school year Paul volunteered with FAIHP’s clubhouse. He would usually be there weekly with the teens. He helped keep the teens engaged and provided guidance.
Paul Areyan grew up in the Los Angeles area. His mother was a single parent to him, his brother and sister. When Paul turned 10 we were taken to foster care. It had turned out that his mother was battling a few drug addictions and schizophrenia. Paul was in foster care for about a year before his grandma took them in. Paul’s grandma took care of all three of them and her son as a single parent.
When Paul started living with his grandma he was exposed to Indigenous culture through UAII. It was around 11 when he started going to UAII’s clubhouse. The group would do some cultural stuff, along with health and financial workshops. Paul was able to make friends and develop a sense of community. He went to two of their summer camps as a camper. When Paul was 15 he started to go to their camps as a volunteer. At around 17, he met the woman that would become his wife.
She was still Paul’s girlfriend when he graduated and decided to join the Army. Paul was a medic in the Army for around three and a half years. Half way through his contract he got married. A year after that Paul deployed to Afghanistan. He didn’t like the scenery and eventually came back to the U.S.
After being a medic in the Army Paul wanted to pursue nursing. He transferred to CSU Fresno with a 4.0 and maintained it. Paul is in the CSU Fresno nursing program. He has a chemistry minor that he will finish this semester. He plans to graduate in December 2021 and go to work with a BSN.