UACCM Student Gives Back — My UACCM Story


When UACCM nursing student Ulyana Aaron discovers a vexing problem, she tackles it through community service.

photo on left: woman; photo on right: woman playing a game with a child
Ulyana Aaron goes to school and works, she also spends much of her time volunteering. Photo on the right is courtesy of Main Street Morrilton.

Ulyana Aaron is constantly busy. On top of being a full-time student and holding down a job at Chick-fil-A, she spends her time volunteering. You can see her at community events and participating in UACCM Gives Back, a program from UACCM Student Activities and Events where volunteers help local causes. Or perhaps she is working with kids at a school or with residents at care centers. These are examples of this nursing student’s wholehearted embrace of community service and captures her drive to be in a cause higher than herself. 

Aaron’s interest in volunteering started with her desire to serve the community and be more social. Her passion is contagious and unfaltering. Her first cause was the Greenbrier Elementary School, where she worked with children as a teacher’s aide. She later spent significant time at the Human Development Center in Conway, where she read books, played games, and talked to the residents. The whole experience gave her a different perspective at life. 

She’s constantly on the move in her volunteer work because there are so many issues that she can address and people to help. “I cannot stay at one place forever. I should be in different places because there are people with different needs everywhere,” she said.

From time to time, she sees people from her past causes and they ask her to return, but she still feels like she’s needed elsewhere.

With her heavy dose of volunteering, concentrating on the school-life balance is a must. She loves her work, but constantly has to remind herself that school is most important. “Education is there forever. It’s my future. I love my work but college will make me achieve my goals,” she said. “It’s hard sometimes to keep a 100 percent on school, but you have to be honest with yourself.” 

Born in Ukraine, she grew up in several places but mostly identifies with the small town of Lysa Hora. She moved to the United States at 17, finished her secondary education in homeschool, and took English classes at the UACCM Adult Education site in Conway. Cleverly, she took advantage of its resources by improving her English with G.E.D. practice tests, even though she had no need to take the exam. 

“They got different books for me,” she said, referring to the Adult Education staff to challenge her more. 

She started to spend more time at Adult Education after class time to work as a tutor’s assistant. When the time arrived to look into colleges, she knew she wanted to enroll at UACCM. Her connection with the college sparked, and she wanted to be a part of the school that already provided so much. “I wanted to support this college,” she said.

While she was tempted to apply at larger universities, she felt that UACCM provided her an affordable option that met her expectations of a college experience. Her passion for community service led to the field of medicine. “I want to be a nurse practitioner. This is my goal, and I didn’t need to spend so much money if my opportunities were here,” she said.

She heard good things about the nursing program. The career choice was always in the back of her mind, she said. She has a fallback career: to be a detective, and if there are any shared traits between the two fields, it’s that both are rooted in service and helping others. Eventually she wants to attend the University of Central Arkansas in Conway to get a bachelor’s degree. 

Now as a first-year student, she is able to volunteer with UACCM Gives Back. Among her work, she joined students and staff at Main Street Morrilton’s First Thursday Farmers’ Market, where she played games with kids. 

Expect Aaron to continue to be active at UACCM. You’ll see her at events and giving back. Most recently, she attended the Leadership Academy sponsored by Arkansas Community Colleges, a retreat for students to explore team building, leadership skills, and academic excellence.

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