Team Member Spotlight: Meinrad John
Meinrad John, born in St. Lucia and raised in the Virgin Island, is the Housing Manager for Embrace Families. The goal of his position is to obtain housing options for young adults in the various post 18 programs such as; Extended Foster Care, Postsecondary Education Support and Services and Aftercare .
Meinrad like so many others did not initially pursue a career in social work. A little known fact about him is that he loves anything to do with cars or motorcycles. Growing up he enjoyed working on vehicles and the thrill of drag racing. It was through this hobby that he found himself enlisting in the Navy and pursuing a career as a Machinist.
In his younger years, Meinrad would at times volunteer at soup kitchens or at a boyâ€™s home where his sister worked. During that time he discovered his passion for helping others.
While in college as a engineering major, he would often talk about his love for social work. It was during that time he was encouraged by his then girlfriend to follow his heart. So he did, Meinrad graduated with his undergraduate degree in social work.
Many of the children Meinrad works with are those he knows from his previous positions in the field, leading him become a figure in their lives. He has receives calls and assisted in everything ranging from purchasing a vehicle to assisting in navigating immigration issues.
â€œIâ€™m here to help young adults get to where they want and need to be in life. Thatâ€™s what we all do as part of the Youth Services Team, whether itâ€™s part of our official role or not. Obtaining somewhere for them to live is essential, however, helping them to become productive members of society is the ultimate goal.â€
If you ask any youth why they look up to Meinrad, they will tell you that it is because he does not give up. He looks beyond their behaviors and attitudes and puts forth the effort to show that he genuinely cares about them on an individual level.
For Meinrad, this is not something he thinks should be considered remarkable.
â€œThey just need a little guidance in life, like many of our own kids,â€ he simply says.
Truer words have never been spoken. As the old adage goes, â€œIt takes a community to raise a child.â€