A woman who was born with the name Marijuana Pepsi defied the bullies and critics to become a doctor after earning her PhD in higher education leadership.
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 in June 2019.
Marijuana disclosed that her mother Maggie Johnson picked out her name when she was born and declared it would take her around the world.
She has two sisters whose named are Kimberly and Robin.
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 says.
Vandyck, who left an unstable home when she was 15, graduated high school and went on to earn her college and master's degree.
She vowed early on to earn her doctorate.
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