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Paul Aune


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I am a former Navy brat, lifeguard, stagehand, help desk engineer, email abuse analyst, system administrator, grocery store clerk, and mail carrier. I have returned to school to become a professional helper. I am in continuous, long term recovery from substance abuse and mental illness, and I have been since 1990. My wife is a foreign service officer with USAID. We travel from country to country with her work. At each post, I pick up at least some of the local language as we explore the local culture together. We visit museums, ruins, geological features, indigenous healers and crafts-persons, and local restaurants.


Stephen F Austin State University

Master's degree program
2022 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Social Work

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Bachelor's degree program
2018 - 2021
  • Majors:
    • Social Work

Northern Virginia Community College

Associate's degree program
2015 - 2018
  • Majors:
    • Social Sciences, General

Sherwood High School

High School
1985 - 1989


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Social Work
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      social work

    • Dream career goals:

      change advocate

    • Assistant Rural Carrier

      United States Postal Service
      2022 – 2022
    • Office Volunteer

      Habitat for Humanity
      2022 – 2022
    • Stagehand

      1994 – 201319 years
    • Clerk

      Giant of Maryland, LLC
      2009 – 20167 years
    • Student Intern

      Compass Health
      2021 – 2021



    1988 – 19891 year


    Junior Varsity
    1987 – 19881 year

    Future Interests



    Your Dream Music Scholarship
    The song that holds the most message for me is Hideaway by Erasure on the Circus album. The message was that I could still survive even being rejected by my loved ones. I could be brave on my own. When I got into long-term recovery from substance abuse and mental illness in the summer of 1990, I listened to this song (and the rest of the album) daily. I felt so alone living in an Oxford house at age 19. Both of my parents had enabled my substance use, and so I was forbidden to live with either of them as part of my aftercare plan. This song helped me plumb the depths of my grief and sit still with it. I felt sad from being rejected by my father in rehab. He denied my diseases in a family session while I was still inpatient. I could no longer trust him for emotional support. This song helped me survive and do the next right thing anyway. I revisited this song about 3 years later, putting it back into daily rotation, when I started to question my sexuality and gender. I was rejected by my very Catholic mother. The lack of support made me feel sad and separated from her. This song helped me to be brave and do well. I did not come out to my dad for another year or two more. Doing so was very scary, and he did not respond right away. I needed to listen to listen to the album again while I awaited his reaction and expected fall-out. Once again, I grew strength and bravery from this song.
    Lost Dreams Awaken Scholarship
    Recovery at its root is a restoration to sanity. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the steps means that I am fit to carry the message to others, but I must first be restored to a state of grace (whether or not such a state was ever a part of my life before I began using) to do anything. In my case, I needed to get clean before I could treat my mental illnesses, before I could be a partner or friend or son, before I could study, before I could understand my sexuality, before I could know my purpose, before I could unearth my childhood traumas, and before I could be of use in any other area of my life. Recovery is the foundation of my life, and I am so grateful that it started back on June 8th, 1990. It was on that day that I asked for help, and it was that day I accepted the help that was offered. I have been clean ever since. I am about to graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work degree, and I am applying to graduate schools to get my Master of Social Work degree.