posted May 10, 2022
I was reading my favorite magazine, VegNews, when I saw an advertisement for the Main Street Vegan Academy (MSVA) a few years ago when it was offered only in person. Sadly, the hours and days didn’t work with my schedule.
But imagine my thrill when last year I discovered the MSVA was being offered via Zoom, on weekends, due to the pandemic! I signed up for the 2021 Winter/Spring class without hesitation.
Now that I’ve completed the program, what has attending the Main Street Vegan Academy done for me?
1. I met Victoria Moran, an icon in the Vegan community.
Learning from her was a dream come true! (Victoria has given me some writing tips; exclamation points are to be used sparingly—that sentence warranted one.)
Victoria shared her extensive knowledge about veganism, yoga, Ayurveda, and other topics of interest and value. She made us feel like a family, even on Zoom, and opened up her heart to all of us.
2. I e-met other Vegans (a requirement to be in the Academy).
There were vegan doctors, therapists, dietitians, authors, journalists, and teachers in our Zoom class, to name only some of our occupations. It was the first time in fifteen years, since becoming a vegan, that I felt at home and normal. I had never before been around that many vegans at once.
Not only did I e-meet them, I’ve now begun to meet these new vegan friends in person!
3. I was introduced to many helpful and dynamic guest speakers.
Speakers included professors, animal rights lawyers, coaches, activists, authors, editors, book publishers, registered dietitians, fashion designers, medical doctors, business advisers, social media experts, and chefs with live cooking demos, and more. I took something away from every one of them.
4. I was assigned a buddy, Kara, a professional dancer.
I was thrilled to be paired up with Kara, a fellow MSVA classmate. Seeing videos of her performances and getting to know a real-live talented artist, who is a real sweetheart, was a bonus of the MSVA.
5. I was inspired to take even more classes to enhance my skills.
One of our many vivacious and informational MSVA speakers, J.L. Fields, mentioned writing courses at Gotham Writers. I’d taken Gotham classes before, but because of J.L.’s mention, I decided to take their Blog Basics and Blog Writing courses.
I realize that what I consider common knowledge in the world of fitness and veganism is not well-known, if at all, to the general population, and use my blog to spread the word.
6. I met many renowned Vegans.
I’ve never stood outside the door of a Broadway show to meet the actors but meeting well-known vegans and learning from them is an incredible experience for me.
My post on the Main Street Vegan blog (one of the perks of being MSVA alumni) about my journey completing Chef AJ’s 21-Day Challenge of whole foods plant-based eating, led to a Zoom interview with Chef AJ herself. It was an honor to meet Chef AJ and many members of the Feel Fabulous Over Forty Facebook group in person, as a result.
From our MSVA class with Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan, I joined the Our Hen House Flock. A joining gift is a one-on-one Zoom meeting with Jasmin and we had an amazing and affirming conversation.
7. I’ve gotten amazing advice about setting up a vegan business.
I spoke to Victoria about my anxiety in setting up a coaching business immediately after graduating from MSVA and she was understanding. She helped me realize that starting my own blog is how I am meant to use my MSVA Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator training (for now—coaching and educating is not out of the question later). And contributing to this Main Street Vegan blog is the biggest honor and I love it.
In all, meeting so many other Vegans who share my passions and concerns is invaluable. And I owe it to Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan Academy. I cannot recommend it enough!
Cherie Hans holds certifications from Dr. McDougall’s Starch Solution and Dr. Campbell’s Plant-Based Nutrition programs. She holds a Master of Science in Bilingual Education from St. John’s University, NY, and a Bachelor of Arts from the City University of NY: Queens College in English and Spanish and currently teaches adults in English as a Second Language. After graduating from Main Street Vegan Academy, Cherie started Fit and Fifties Vegan. She is from Queens, New York, but now resides in New Jersey with her husband and many rescued cats.