Everyday Hopkins: Jonathan Sneddon, LAN III Admin

IMG_8030_edI’ve always felt for people who don’t have the means or resources to do things for themselves. I try to give back as much as possible.

For several years following college, I was homeless in Dallas. I lived on a series of couches and my car for the better part of three to four years. I moved to Las Vegas to refocus my life and my direction. You wouldn’t think it’s the place people go to retreat from chaos. Fortunately, I don’t gamble and I had so many skills I could put to good use: hairstyling, makeup artist, being a personal stylist, executive assistant to several models, a professional photographer, writer, graphic designer, the list goes on.

When I moved to Baltimore in 2014 for an IT job, I discovered Johns Hopkins and thought it would be a great place to work. Aside from going to college for IT, I only had three months of IT experience and couldn’t find many Hopkins positions that fit my skillset. When I finally got an interview, I told my (now) manager he wouldn’t be disappointed if he hired me. I’ve been here for almost four years now.

I’m the lead LAN Administrator III for nine locations, which is like being a mini project manager. There are five of us and we all have different specialties; mine are communications and organization and documentation. I try to find “how-to” documents that don’t exist and then I create them. Over the past six months, I’ve built a repository of 150 documents, including how to connect to printer drives and how to add another mailbox to your Outlook account.

I donate my time to United Way, especially Project Homeless Connect. Having been homeless, I understand the necessities that people need, even when all they want is a cell phone. When it’s cold outside, I’ll hit up my friends for spare blankets and gloves and go pass them out. I try to give everyone just a little help and happiness so they know it’s not all bad.

I also conducted focus groups with homeless people in the community for Johns Hopkins Office of Government and Community Affairs. Drug addicts, drug dealers, alcoholics and some very violent people came together to discuss their relation to healthcare. Regardless of their situation, though, every single person had health insurance.

In the LGBT community, I manage a house of drag queens and co-produce three monthly shows. I also mentor a few other drag queens outside of the shows. I’m the brains of the operation and I like to be in the background, which is why IT works for me. One of my drag queens is set to release an album in April and I’m helping manage the release: marketing, booking, scheduling, press kit, all of that.

When I first started at Johns Hopkins, I really struggled with personal style and fitting into a professional office setting. I’ve been dressing up in some capacity since I was a kid – makeup, sparkly shoes, jewelry – it’s second nature to me. Polo shirt and khakis are not me in any way, shape or form. If you don’t feel comfortable, how can you succeed? My manager was fully supportive and told me that by all means, I just needed to feel myself.

I have an intern right now from the Year Up program through Baltimore City Community College. I asked him if anyone in his class was working on the things he’s working on with me, and he said no. When he talked about the hands-on projects I’m having him work on—like helping install new printers—his class was blown away. I can only imagine being 19 years old and knowing there are tons of possibilities out there while also gaining the opportunity to achieve those possibilities.

Listen to Jonathan talk about his connection to the homeless community.

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Rating: 4.9/5 (18 votes cast)

Everyday Hopkins: Jonathan Sneddon, LAN III Admin, 4.9 out of 5 based on 18 ratings

32 Comments

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Comments

Kim Hoppe March 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Jonathan,
Thank you so much for sharing this very personal story. You are an inspiration!
It has always been a pleasure to work with you. Now, it is also an honor.

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Sherry B March 1, 2018 at 12:47 pm

It makes me happy that others get to see you the way I always have. You make my heart happy Jonathan. I am honored to call you my friend

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Maureen February 28, 2018 at 9:25 pm

Wow, Jonathan! You make me feel lazy! You can add eloquent story-teller to your list of talents! BTW, love your personal style! Best of everything that life has to offer you. You are an inspiration!

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Margie Goldberg February 28, 2018 at 11:59 am

Jonathan,

I have never met you, but your story really hit home. I have a brother who has been homeless for many years, although his story is very different, and he does have a mental illness. Nevertheless, the work that you do, for the people you do, is inspiring. I too have been involved, with the homeless in Baltimore. As a mentor,through Anne Anrundel County Schools, which I worked at before coming to Hopkins, I would take high school students downtown to pass out hot food (that we cooked before we headed out) directly to tents, boxes and those with no where else to go. It is an eye opening experience for our younger population, and something they need to know. Your work is reflection of your soul, and in my eyes, you are a bright, shining, exceptional man, and Johns Hopkins is extremely lucky to have you. Keep doing what you do. IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

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Abbey February 28, 2018 at 9:58 am

This is such a great story and I feel lucky to know you, Jonathan! I'm so inspired by all that you do!!

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Aidan C February 28, 2018 at 7:37 am

This is a great story. Thanks for all you do!

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Erica Shelton February 27, 2018 at 8:33 pm

What a wonderful article, Jonathan! You are a pillar of strength and such an inspiration. We haven't interacted much at MTW, but I could always tell there was something special about you. Thank you for all that you do!!

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Alexia Camm February 27, 2018 at 5:22 pm

This is a wonderful article Jonathan! I am in awe at all the things you do and I am grateful to know you.

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Ellen Barnes February 27, 2018 at 3:09 pm

I loved the profile. A perfect example of the great connections that can be made and doors that can open when compassionate and good management is open to talented people wherever/however they present themselves.

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Mich February 27, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Good to hear from you and your successes. You always had an awesome attitude in helping us with our tech woes 😉 and apparently you've been do other fantastic work as well.

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Philomen February 27, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Wow Jonathan. You are an inspiration and proof of what can happen if given the opportunity.

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Kim O February 27, 2018 at 12:07 pm

Thank you for sharing. Your story is going to be an inspiration to someone. You should be very proud of your accomplishments.

Kim

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Melinda February 27, 2018 at 11:58 am

Jonathan, this is such an amazing article! Thank you for being authentically you and much success to your current and future endeavors. You know this means we need to have a talk! Kudos!

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diane February 27, 2018 at 11:43 am

Jonathan,
What a great article to show case your talents and contributions. Keep up the good work. I always enjoyed our conversations at MtW.
Dianne

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Sarah Richards February 27, 2018 at 10:47 am

Great article! It was always fun working with you in the office, Jonathan--I miss it. Thanks for being you.

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Vanessa M. February 27, 2018 at 10:09 am

Thank you for sharing your story, Jonathan. You are a shining star and a pleasure to work with!

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Joanne February 27, 2018 at 10:07 am

Humanity done right! Keep being a light in a dark world.

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Holly February 27, 2018 at 9:43 am

Thank you for sharing your story. Keep up the good work!

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Kathy Smith February 27, 2018 at 9:33 am

Jonathan
Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are making an impact in so many arenas. Thank you for being YOU!

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George Howard February 27, 2018 at 9:26 am

Hey Jonathan,
You do a lot of great work here in the department.
Thank you for sharing your story of perseverance and giving back. Hats off to you!

Sincerely,
George

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Patrick February 27, 2018 at 9:08 am

Our department is lucky to be one of the nine that Jonathan handles. He’s always got a friendly smile and is a total pro.

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Jill February 27, 2018 at 8:57 am

Jonathan, you are such a breath of fresh air and I appreciate all of the talents you bring to our department! Thank you for being you!

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Maria February 27, 2018 at 8:47 am

Jonathan, What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing. Your compassion and empathetic spirit are such wonderful traits. I wish you the very best of everything both with your career here at Hopkins and your journey personally.

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Hilary February 27, 2018 at 8:27 am

thank you so much for sharing the story of your journey so far. It made my morning to read this.

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kathy dorsey February 27, 2018 at 8:16 am

great story! Jonathan keep going!

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Chris M February 27, 2018 at 8:16 am

Great Story!
In Pinellas County, FL there are over 7.000 families and 2,000 children homeless. An interfaith justice group (FAST- Faith and Action for Strength Together) is hosting a "Nehemiah Action Assembly on Monday March 19 at Tropicana Field to encourage lawmakers to support affordable housing and restorative justice in the schools.
Please remember the homeless and couch surfers in this time of great income inequality.

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Deborah Knox-Bess February 27, 2018 at 7:54 am

I was very intrigued with his story, his inspiration to help and assist others. He has a big heart which genuinely cares about the wants and needs of other peoples goals and aspirations.

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Pamela February 27, 2018 at 7:50 am

Johnathan has always been very helpful and passionate about his work. I love his style but I like Johnathan's kind personality and sense of humor even more. I'm really happy to learn more about him through this article.

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Dawn Battista February 27, 2018 at 7:38 am

John Sneddon,
Your life and love for people is so inspiring. I too feel like a homeless person starting over after a 26 year marriage ends and a divorce leaves me struggling to find my way to seek a new home, a new career, and finances to support my three children still at home. I would like to forward my career here at Hopkins, but unfortunately I haven't a clue how to begin. I would love the opportunity to communicate with you and hear any insight you may have for me. I am truly a hard worker and give everything I have to my work. I have been with Johns Hopkins Hospital as a Materials Associate for over a year. I love my job, but I want to do more in a career with the Johns Hopkins Community. I am passionate about people and what motivates them and I would love to have the opportunity to really build on those attributes as I further my career here at Hopkins. I hope to hear from you. Thank you for all that you do John!!!

Yours Sincerely,
Dawn Battista

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Jonathan Sneddon February 27, 2018 at 2:18 pm

Dawn!!!

Thank you for reaching out!
I want to share this with you and I will be contacting your shortly.

"There is not one experience, no matter how devastating, no matter how torturous it may appear to have been, there is nothing that’s ever wasted. Everything that is happening to you is being drawn into your life as a means to help you evolve into who you were really meant to be here on Earth. It’s not the thing that matters, it’s what that thing opens within you."

-Oprah Winfrey
The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations

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Susan S. February 27, 2018 at 7:18 am

Nice story Jonathan!

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Naomi February 27, 2018 at 12:14 am

God is not through with you! So very proud of you and glad to have met you. See you later this year at the United Way function.

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