The effect of a single drop of purity by Jennifer Iwasaki Yamamoto GS ’98

If I recall correctly (it’s been more than 20 years), this is the title I gave for a collage we did in a class at SUA in Calabasas. As I try to remember this I’m laughing, because it was just a simple picture of a heart with a droplet of water creating a ripple effect. A bit cheesy, but I was so proud of it at that time – I even framed it! 

Anyway, this reflects how I feel about my time at SUA. There was this unique care and support that came from just about everyone – my classmates / fellow students, staff, faculty, Dr. T. and our Founder. It was this extreme care to have us succeed, lean on each other, and develop a sense to contribute what we’d learned and experienced. It’s this pureness from their collective hearts that created a ripple effect that continues to this day.

Even now, the memories of their support still remain with me.

The start of the program was an adjustment for me, being away from my family and friends in Hawai’i for the first time. At one point I felt very homesick and the workload was so intense. I started having doubts of being able to continue in the program. Whoever I shared this with was always very supportive. One of my classmates even took time out of her extremely busy schedule of commuting and taking care of her own family, to give me flowers and listen to my worries.  

Actually, when I first heard more about SUA Graduate School from Dr. T., I told her I was not interested. What opened my mind was hearing about how amazing a program it was from a student, as well as an administrator. I had never heard of a Dean who cared so much for her students. Later, I learned how much had gone into making our program such a success. 

It’s funny how things happen in life. If I didn’t go to SUA, I probably would not have become great friends with a fellow student, who later became my sister-in-law and aunty to my daughter!  It really is this pureness of care from the hearts of those at SUA that continue to grow capable people who go on to make positive changes in the world. In my own way, I hope to be able to continue this ripple effect of care and compassion with the people in my life.