Gamal Borns, Plumbing Maintenance Apprentice

Gamal BornsI began working at Johns Hopkins in 2003. My mother, who is a patient transport supervisor here, told me about the opening and I’ve been here ever since. First, I was a trash tech in environmental services and I later moved to patient transport in radiology.

Once I realized I was holding myself back from all of the opportunities Johns Hopkins has to offer, I started to move forward by telling myself that there must be something better here for me. I got hip to the Hopkins culture of continuous advancement. We are not meant to stay in one place; we have to use the resources provided to move up and start a career.

I’ve known my supervisor, Ryan Eggleston, for years. He’s the one who told me about the apprenticeship program and said I should apply. He’s inspirational to me because he started just like I did. He used to work in the kitchen and then went to environmental services, and now he’s in the plumbing shop. He went through the ranks.

My first day in the apprenticeship program was August 31, 2014. I have one year left. This is the best job I’ve ever had because of the camaraderie here in the plumbing shop. It’s family-oriented. Everyone has homes, wives and kids. I grew up with a big family, so working in the plumbing shop is a familiar feeling. They are like my brothers.

I enjoy this apprenticeship because it is hands on. I like the fact that my supervisors and coworkers allow me to be so involved, because normally in the field of plumbing, the apprentice doesn’t get to work with the tools or help solve problems. When I graduate from the program I will take the test to get my journeyman’s license, and two years after that I will take the test to become a master plumber. I will have these two licenses along with my bachelor’s degree, which I earned in 2016. I majored in information technology with a concentration in information systems.

When I’m not working, I spend most of my time with my family. I have two kids: Lakhan is 16 and Lathan is 7. They both do very well in school. Lakhan has almost a 4.0 GPA. Lathan likes to play basketball. He takes after his dad—I’m known around town for my basketball skills.

I want my kids and other young people trying to figure out what they want to do in life to know that if they want to do something positive, they can and should do it. Never let a temporary situation or experience discourage you from doing what you want to do in life. Never settle and if you find yourself standing still, use your resources to see what opportunities are out there for you.

—Jennifer Wicks

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Rating: 5.0/5 (20 votes cast)

Gamal Borns, Plumbing Maintenance Apprentice, 5.0 out of 5 based on 20 ratings


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }


Bro. Daniel April 23, 2018 at 9:44 pm

Congratulations Brother Gamal. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope it will inspirer other young men in the Hopkins Institution to take advantage of the opportunities to advance in other areas of employment. I remember you when you first stared in EVS. Very proud of you and all you have accomplished. Keep up the good work.


Neel April 12, 2018 at 11:23 pm

Great job Gamal, keep learning and growing. Thank you for sharing your inspirational story.


lawrence walker April 12, 2018 at 10:49 am

Gamal did work in our department in Endoscopy before .I was very impressed with his intrest and knowledge of his job .I knew Gamal was special, and would do great things in life. keep up the good work Gamal. I like and played basketball myself .


Mariah April 8, 2018 at 7:50 am

I love hearing stories like this it inspire so many others to work hard and move up here at Hopkins hopefully my career takes off just as yours did. Starting from the bottom we going to the top. keep up the great work.


Cynthia Green April 6, 2018 at 3:39 pm

As I said in my Suburban E-mail thank you for coming on board.


RK April 6, 2018 at 10:17 am

Never pass up the chance to share your story, and yours is a great one. I want you to know that I was so struck by your inspiring words that I copied and pasted your last two sentences - now posted on my monitor for my daily pep talk to myself- and made sure to give you your proper byline! Thanks


Margie Goldberg April 5, 2018 at 3:07 pm

You seem to be very grounded and on your way to where you want to be. You are an inspiration for those younger employees, just coming in and trying to find there way. You have a wonderful spirit, and I wouldn't be surprised to see you going far with Hopkins. 🙂


Jaeda Vinson April 5, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Congratulations on nearing the completion of your apprenticeship. Your story is admirable and I commend you for having the courage and determination to elevate yourself within the work force. Your words of advice at the end of your story echo in my mind. Wishing you t he best in your future endeavors.


N. Bailey April 5, 2018 at 8:00 am

What an inspirational young man you are! Keep climbing and striving toward greatness and your opportunities will be limitless.


Vanessa April 4, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Very inspiring. Good job.


Cynthia Gutierrez April 4, 2018 at 2:18 pm

Gamal, you are an inspiration to your colleagues and your family. Keep up the great work!


Ed H April 4, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Keep up the hard work, it will pay off. I hope that others read this who are on the fence wondering if they should try to better themselves through a program like your apprenticeship. Johns Hopkins certainly helps provide a better life and personal enrichment, but remember that it is up to individuals like you who put in the hard work and time necessary to acquire new skills.

Good luck on your Journeyman's License exam!


Emeline Thompson April 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Very interesting as well as encouraging. Keep up the good work and all the best in your completion of your apprenticeship and when you take your board exam know that your hard work will pay!


Toya F. April 4, 2018 at 12:06 pm

Awesome story Gamal. I was very excited to see you featured in this publication. I'm proud of you and everyone else who is able to utilize Hopkins' resources for future advancements. It's not easy, but it's always worth it. Good luck to you!


"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse."

-- Jim Rohn


Sophia Henry April 4, 2018 at 10:14 am

Once I realized I was holding myself back from all of the opportunities Johns Hopkins has to offer, I started to move forward by telling myself that there must be something better here for me. I got hip to the Hopkins culture of continuous advancement. We are not meant to stay in one place; we have to use the resources provided to move up and start a career.

I loved this!!!!! I hope that many will read this and get inspired.


Maureen April 4, 2018 at 10:12 am

Gamal, I'm so glad that I read your story! Hard work and drive like yours is what makes Hopkins great.


william curtis April 4, 2018 at 9:57 am



Latisha Smith April 4, 2018 at 9:21 am

Great story of determination and recognizing an opportunity and doing all he can to better himself and the his family.


Abigail April 4, 2018 at 9:15 am

Very inspirational Gamal. Keep climbing and all the best. I wish you could share this story with all the other young people working in other departments about not holding yourself back and settling!


Mary April 4, 2018 at 8:36 am

Beautiful story - very encouraging and inspiring! Best of luck to you, and your family. 🙂


Donna Bower April 4, 2018 at 8:20 am

Gamal your story is a good one and it made my day. My hat is off to both your mother who inspired you to apply to JHU and to Mr. Eggleston who encouraged you to apply for the apprenticeship program. My hat is off to you for your can do attitude and being an inspiration to others.


Doona G April 4, 2018 at 7:51 am

Good morning Gamal and thank you for sharing your feel- good, inspiring story.


Andrea Cox April 4, 2018 at 6:43 am

Thank you for highlighting a career path and culture at Hopkins about which we don't hear much. I found Mr. Borns' story inspiring!


Bob Jones April 4, 2018 at 6:26 am

People like you are the reason it is a pleasure to work at Johns Hopkins.
And it sounds like one of your young men may be heading for a Hopkins degree.

"When they say 'It cannot be done', do it. They will never doubt you again." - author unknown


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