“I was traveling in Europe, and this guy had a seizure. People just froze. And it felt great to know that I knew how to respond.”
He’s got a first name from Hindu mythology, a Jewish mom, and a dad who’s African American and Native American. “I guess I’m just a ‘universal being,’” says Arjuna Hillman with a laugh. And he was about to greet another such a one—with the Biblical name of Isaiah—into his travels through this world. “Yeah, it’s a boy, and he’s our first child. And he’s already late!” says the future, and proud, new papa. But Arjuna is delighted to have the demands of fatherhood put off—if only for a few extra days—while he continues the rigors of studying in SMC’s highly touted Nursing program.
“I went to SMC for my AA, and then transferred to San Francisco State to become a human ecologist. And though I love the science aspects of maybe working in a laboratory, I wanted to do something more humanistic with it,” Arjuna says. “I wanted something more directly ‘human-to-human,’ more hands-on. And though making policy can certainly be helpful, I realized that the best way for me to make positive change in the world is to help people directly. I like talking with people,” he continues, “and change for the better comes through interaction—and touching—one individual person at a time.”
Arjuna states, “If you look around at a lot of other nursing schools, you’re gong to hear a lot horror stories. But the teachers at SMC are very helpful, supportive, and enjoyable. And I just love all the resources at SMC,” he adds. “I mean, San Francisco State is a great school, but the science classes at SMC are far more challenging. Doug Allan, in botany, was a very good teacher for me, as was Terry Green, in math. But all the instructors here—if you make it a practice to really listen—give you a lot to think about. And a lot of that will be very useful in your life.”