From Cleaning Debris to Director of Resident Life, St. John worked hard for his career

By Adam Meyer

Every person has their own story, and each person has their own way of telling it. As humans everyone is very different from one another. Everyone on this planet has a different story to tell and many others have ways in which their story’s intertwine. When a story connects with someone there is a way in which humans look for similarities with one another. There are many aspects in a person’s life that will change them.

Wether it is a change in someone’s lifestyle with a tragedy or even a large move from one part of the world to the other. As people go through these changes there are influencers who help guide the person, to prevent them from going from one way to another. All of this information comes from Quincy University Director of Resident Life Johann St. John who has experienced big changes in his life to get him to the point of success where he is at now.

St. John decided to take that leap from being a college student in Grenada to a student in the heart of Miami, but St. John felt like he made the right choice even though he had no clear direction. This change not only changed his place of residency but changed his mindset and what he had to learn.

“There was a hurricane that ruined our whole island, and it was my first day of class too. Then I moved to St Lucia to live with my aunt who worked in the ministry of health and my uncle who worked in the ministry of education,” St. John said.

This was the first time St. John lived away from his parents so his grades were not so great.  When he moved back home to Grenada, St. John learned that the woman fixing up her house next door graded high school standard achievement tests, or SAT’s.

“She gave me SAT lessons as long as I helped her clean up her area,” St. John said. 

While home St. John applied for school but did not have the best knowledge of what was the process consisted of, so he decided to apply to many different schools in polar opposite areas of the country.

“Seattle, Miami, Tallahassee, Washington D.C. I had no idea I was just doing things,” St. John said jokingly.

He received a call from a school in Miami, Barry University.

“I only picked there because a friend of mine, he went to Barry and played tennis there, and I thought if he could play there well I’m better than him I can play there too,” St. John said.

St. John walked on the team as a first generation university student and student athlete. Other than being on the tennis team St. John was a part of another athletic team on campus.

“My two next door neighbors  became some of my best friends, Steve and Dustin. They wanted to do cheerleading, because Steve saw somebody he would like to talk to on the cheerleading team,” St. John said.

St. John did not understand what being on the cheerleading team entailed and just went along with everything. That same year the team went to conference, cheered at basketball games, and other sporting events.

This involvement would bring St. John to realize what he wanted to do with his career. He was asked by the director of programing at the time if St. John would like to go to a National Association for Campus Activities Convention, and he was blown away that students could put on so many great events which sparked his interest in campus programing.

After starting his own non-profit clothing line, and being an important face of Barry University, St. John had to graduate, and with that came a countdown before he had to go back home.

“After I graduated I took a year of OPT (Optical Practical Training) to find a job,” St. John said.

He was worried but then found a job first as a bank teller and then back at his Alma Mater as a communication specialist in the business office. His boss then told him to get his masters so that his OPT did not expire. He applied to get his masters in higher education at Nova Southeastern University.

After graduating St. John had his first interview at Georgetown College in Ky., and only took it because it was a job he wanted which was in Resident Life. After working there for two years he decided to leave and  received a call and had an interview at Berea College in Ky., and although he was skeptical of the school he liked the title of the position he would receive.

While St. John was driving up to Berea College he received a call from the University of Kentucky, and had interviews at both schools. The University of Kentucky offered the job to him right after the interview, but St. John chose Berea. His job search wasn’t finished. He heard from a friend that the Director of Resident Life position would be open at yet anther university.

That school St. John heard about was Quincy University and he decided to take the call and change his way of life again.

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