Tony Schneider, St. John’s Community Engagement Specialist, has been connecting with donors, writing grants and assisting in a variety of community engagement activities since he started in September. He previously worked at Pillars in Appleton, helping the homeless and those at-risk in the Fox Valley.

Schneider has been working in the non-profit sector since he graduated from UW-Green Bay with a degree in human development and psychology. He joined a national community service program (AmeriCorps NCCC) where he spent two years leading a team of 12 young adults in service projects with 11 non-profits in six different states on the West Coast. Following his two terms, he served as a Volunteer Manager for a combined five years at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services and Pillars in Appleton.

What is your title at St. John’s Ministries (SJM), and what does your job entail?
I am the Community Engagement Specialist with St. John’s, and my primary focus is on grant writing and donor relations. Like most non-profits, St. John’s relies so heavily on support from volunteers and donors, and I try to make sure our supporters are acknowledged, appreciated, and updated on all things St. John’s.

What is your favorite part about working for SJM?
Professionally, I love seeing the impact the community support brings to guests daily. Each day guests are working with staff to overcome barriers on their journey to self-sufficiency and lasting change, and it is because of everyone involved that this is happening. I am privileged to see this on a regular basis. Personally, I work at the Micah Center on Stuart Street, and the building is the most unique place I have ever worked in.

What drew you to SJM initially? Why did you want to work for this organization?
Prior to working for St. John’s, I had seven years of experience working with and serving at-risk populations for several non-profits stretching from California to Montana, south to Louisiana, and everywhere in between, and ultimately ended up back in Wisconsin. I always knew I wanted to end up serving those closer to home and when the opportunity presented itself to come work for St. John’s the decision was simple. An established non-profit focused on serving the most vulnerable in our community, why wouldn’t I want to do my part?

When you’re not at work what do you enjoy doing most?
Home renovation projects and seeing live music. When my wife and I aren’t too busy with home projects you can likely find us seeing live music in the region, and sometimes further out. This year we are excited to make our first trip to Red Rocks to see one of our favorite bands, Trampled By Turtles. We enjoy Bluegrass, Folk and Americana – some of our favorite artists include The Avett Brothers, Trampled by Turtles, CAAMP, and locally, Them Coulee Boys and Listening Party.

If you were stranded on a desert island what three material items would you want to have?
My iPod (music), Leatherman multi-tool and A solar-powered fan, because how will I fall asleep without one?

If you had to choose one movie to watch and/or one song to listen to, for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Movie: Lady Bird
Song: Stir It Up by Bob Marley and the Wailers

Who would you like to see cast as you if Hollywood made a movie about your life?
I think John C. Reilly would be the perfect actor. We may not look too much alike, but his range and ability to act in either a comedic or dramatic role is very similar to my own life at work and personally.

What is one thing you’d like the community to know about St. John’s Ministries?
I think it is important for the community to know who is St. John’s Ministries. We are not just physical locations and human services providers, we are made up of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters; each person that comes through the doors at any of our locations is somebody to someone. It is because of the support from the community that we are able to honor their dignity, restore hope, and create lasting change for those in need.