Classic Semester • August – December 2016
I would say that my grandfather was a large influence on my decision to attend Oaksterdam University in the fall of 2016. School for me was what many others might say, “just not my thing”. I’ve always experienced school as something that I rebelled against since a pre-teen. Even after high school, college was a main contributor to stress, anxiety and always led me to greater confusion about my purpose in life. That’s why when my grandfather would frequently lecture me about how education is so important, I didn’t know how to apply his wise words to my life. I finally discovered Oaksterdam in early 2016 from watching a Green Flower Media video. Dale Sky Jones was presenting in the Cannabis Health Summit and I could not believe that after living in the Bay Area all my life, I had never known of Oaksterdam University. I was immediately intrigued and inspired to continue learning more about cannabis.
At the time, I was a full-time student in college and was halfway through the quarter when I decided to drop out. I understood that the educational path I was on at that time just wasn’t the right one. I soon began working as a receptionist for a cannabis delivery service in the South Bay. I knew that I wanted to attend Oaksterdam greatly but didn’t think I could afford it at the time. So I forgot about it. I committed to a full time job and didn’t consider Oaksterdam again for months. My grandfather became seriously ill from a disease known as ALS and I decided to visit him much more frequently. No matter how sick he got, he never forgot to give me his lecture about the importance of education. I decided to mention Oaksterdam University during one of my visits with him. I told him that I once considered attending and it could possibly lead me to earning a career in the cannabis industry. He thought about it and spoke words I’ll always remember. His exact words to me were, “It would surely put a feather in your hat”. He was right. Oaksterdam could offer me great opportunities. Without it, I didn’t really have much to show for. I began reconsidering my future and in June 2016, I decided to spend almost all my money on my tuition for the Classic Semester at Oaksterdam. Finally.
As a student, Oaksterdam showed me what a bright future looks like. The education given to me as a student became stepping stones by helping me get to where I needed to go. I may have taken a couple of wrong turns in the past, but thanks to Oaksterdam, I eventually found an intersection where my two passions, animal liberation and cannabis liberation, connected. I dream of a day when humans and nonhuman animals, particularly farmed animals, can successfully benefit from cannabis’s medicinal properties without fear of the federal government’s interference. Thanks to the foundation provided by Oaksterdam, I have something to build my hopes and dreams on.
As a staff member, Oaksterdam has given me a bright future to work towards. Never could I have imagined the opportunity I so gratefully now hold. I moved to Oakland soon after being given the job so that I can be closer to what I love. The university, including all the faculty members and students who go to such far lengths to pursue their passions, continues to inspire me each day. Working at the front desk of Oaksterdam, I speak with many potential students from all around the globe and assist them with any questions or concerns they may have regarding the university. Listening to their stories behind their decision to attend Oaksterdam has been a great impact in my life. Being able to connect with them in some way is what I enjoy most. By sharing an appreciation for cannabis with these individuals, or understanding what it’s like to feel a need for change and to apart of that change, and then meeting them in class and watching them work towards their dreams had lead me to believe that anything is possible.
I was, like many of those reading this and considering attending Oaksterdam University, hesitant about enrolling. Maybe this is the case for some, and that’s okay. However, if learning about cannabis and being apart of the cannabis industry is a passion of anyone, then making the decision to take a course at OU will undoubtedly be one of the best decisions any cannabis enthusiast can make. With or without a business plan, cannabis experience, an educational background, or even knowing anyone before making the trip out to Oakland, one can become successful after attending Oaksterdam. Of course, a large factor of this success is whether or not one has their heart in the right place. I tell this to any prospective student. Money cannot be the only reason behind entering the cannabis industry, and this is what Yvonne Westbrook-White teaches to OU students. This industry has so much room for new ideas that are just waiting to burst through and become the next big thing! Of course it’s not always going to be easy but with the right tools, training and support, dreams can and do become reality. Like many of OU’s faculty always say, completing the courses and becoming OU Alumni is only the beginning!