Each month, Antonio Myers, Communication and Marketing Assistant in our home office, will interview a different member of our staff to get their story about St. John’s. For his first interview, he answered a few questions about himself.
What is your position and what do you do for the organization?
I am the Marketing and Communication Assistant. The best part about working for St. John’s is that I work full-time and I have my own office in the headquarters. As a staff member at St. John’s, I have learned to use new software and other skills. I help with marketing and communication efforts, surveys, and I do other work as needed. During the day I visit with my co-workers, which makes us all happy. Most importantly I make golden opportunities to discuss the beauty of the disability rights movement with people outside of work.
How long have you worked at St. John’s? How did you come to St. John’s?
I have worked for St. John’s since September 2016, but I came to St. John’s much earlier through the support of my mother and the advice education advocates who cared about me. When I was three years old, I received one of the greatest gifts anyone could ever receive, being a student at St. John’s School. I have been part of this family for almost twenty years. As a student at St. John’s, I learned my ABC’s, 123’s, how to speak, how to write, and how to read. I also learned to say “ma’am”, “sir,” and the importance of human kindness. Even though I was extremely young, my memory is strong enough to remember my friends, playing on the swings, running around, and understanding proper table manners. This is where I learned how to have confidence in myself.
Is this the career path you expected?
I expected to end up at St. John’s due to my prior relationship with the organization. Mr. Roger Deshaies appointed me in this position during a meeting with the Washington D.C. Department of Disability Services. My family and I were pleased by Roger’s appointment, and I have been satisfied ever since.
What makes this work meaningful to you?
St. John’s made all of my life’s achievements possible, all because they saw greatness and potential in a three-year old! I never left the SJCS family because once they adopt you; you’re a blood relative for life. That is why our work is meaningful to me: here you are treated as a person.
What excites you about writing Tonio’s Talks?
I like to be a beacon of light to help tell the stories of the real people, getting to know what people are like. Interviews are best when a person doesn’t just give you the professional answers they would give to others, or when someone has a sense of humor and honesty. I always try to show the subject’s humanity. In an interview, it is also important to get good information and helpful when your subject gives you undivided attention. I like to hear good stories, but sometimes, good interviews are just about personality. Thalia, the SJCS Chief Operations Officer, was a great interview because she gave advice that I still think about. Interviews aren’t as good when the subject is unfriendly, has no humor, or lies. It makes it hard to see the real person. During one difficult taped interview I did, it was a challenge to get the subject to answer my questions and not just talk.
What do you do outside of work? What would surprise your readers?
What is surprising about me is that I have been to the Sistine Chapel. I was profoundly amazed at the painted ceiling, which was designed by the genius artist Michelangelo. I went with my college for its Bridge Program in the summer of 2013. I spent twelve days touring Italy. It would also surprise you to know that even though I am a nice person, I like edgy comedy. Outside of work I spend time with my family and friends. I like to go bowling, play basketball, watch films, dance and exercise, eat brunch meals, meditate, read books, and/or just relax.