As you’ve probably heard, this week is SSDP’s first-ever Alumni Association membership drive! I’m incredibly excited to be a part of this, not just as the President of the Northeast region of our Alumni Association but as someone who’s been an active alum since before we had an official association. In my short time since graduating from UConn in 2013, I’ve already experienced immeasurable benefits from my connection to SSDP — and you can tap into these, and even more, by becoming a member of the Alumni Association today.
While there are tons of professional benefits to being an SSDP alumnus, what is probably my favorite part is the incredible social network that comes along with the organization. Other SSDPers aren’t just your colleagues and allies, but they become your friends and sometimes even more — many people have met their spouses at SSDP conferences, and the number of SSDP babies continues to climb every year! The connections you make at conferences and other events can stick for life, and thanks to this network I’ve got a couch to crash on in almost any major city in the country. Recruiting new members to the Alumni Association will let us build this incredible network of activists and friends even more quickly, and expand fantastic events like our Sensible Soirees and annual camping trips.
Lifelong connections with your peers is one of the best parts of being an SSDP alum, but as we continue to grow we’re also increasing the age range of our alumni network. This creates new opportunities for students to find experienced mentors who can guide them in their careers, and for established professionals to find bright young people to teach (or even hire). While these relationships have always been one facet of SSDP, especially our conferences, we plan to formalize mentor/mentee relationships to make them even more effective. We’ll connect interested alumni with their alma maters, or chapters near where they currently live, to coach them and provide greater institutional knowledge.
I know that helping the UConn chapter with their lobbying work, writing letters to the editor, and other projects has been one of the most rewarding parts of my post-college SSDP involvement, and I am so excited to provide this opportunity to other alumni who want to give back to current students.
And as I mentioned above, the SSDP Alumni Association is the perfect place for recent graduates looking to find a career in drug policy advocacy, the legal marijuana industry, or a host of other related fields. I can speak to this from experience — I wouldn’t have my current job at 4Front Ventures, the nation’s leading marijuana consulting firm, if not for staying in touch with SSDP after graduating. 4Front, founded by former SSDP executive director Kris Krane, is one of many companies that highly values SSDP involvement in potential employees. With the internship program, job board, and more, alumni have both an unparalleled network to find awesome jobs openings and a leg up on their competition when it comes to getting hired.
By joining the SSDP Alumni Association today, you’ll not only gain access to these resources, but your monthly donation will also help us improve them for you and your fellow alumni. Once you’ve been in SSDP, you’re an SSDPer for life, so I hope you’ll stay connected with me and the rest of our growing community by registering today.
President, Northeast Region
SSDP Alumni Association