One of the many barriers Black students and prospective employees face is discrimination over their birth-given names when applying for jobs, but for one woman, that didn’t stop her. Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck is now Dr. Vandyck after earning her Ph.D. and Twitter is saluting her as we all should.
The Daily Mail reports:
Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck, 46, has spent her entire life embracing the name her mother gave her despite others pushing back against her.
She refused to change the unusual name in a bid to prove to herself and to others that overcoming obstacles is possible.
Now, the mother-of-one is officially Dr Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck after earning her PhD in higher education leadership from Cardinal Stritch University in Wisconsin last month.
Despite people criticizing her mother for the name choice, Vandyck says she credits her for helping her become the strong woman she is today.
‘I’ve grown into my name because I am a strong woman. I’ve had to be,’ she has said previously.
Vandyck, who left an unstable home when she was 15, graduated high school and went on to earn her college and master’s degree.
For context, Dr. Vandyck’s sisters are named Kimberly and Robin.
The news has made Dr. Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck a top trending topic on Twitter and we’ve got the reactions below.