Eleven years ago, Jean
Mullins didn’t have just one job, or two jobs – she worked as many as four at a
time. From babysitting to mowing yards, cleaning houses and painting, she did
anything she could to support her children. For fun, she’d take them to
Walmart, where they’d make wish lists of the things they wanted, and after
spending so much time there, she decided to apply for a job.
She got that job, and today, it’s her only one.
A career may not have been on Jean’s wish list, but it’s what she quickly
built. Watch how she says filling out that application changed her life for the
Like most moms, Lisa Moore has always bent over backward to put her son Joseph “Joey” Moore in a position to make his dreams come true. But there was one such dream that weighed especially heavy on her.
“I’ll never forget the day
Joey came to me and said, ‘Mom, I’m going to go to the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill,’” Lisa said. “He was only 11 years old when he told
me, but his mind was made up. I wanted to help make it happen but, as a single
mother, I honestly didn't know where the money was going to come from.”
When Joey neared the end of
high school, Lisa’s manager at the Walmart store in Mooresville, N.C. where she
worked turned her onto the Associate and Dependent Scholarship Programs offered
by the Walmart Foundation. Not only could associates like Lisa apply for
scholarship assistance, but so could their high school senior dependents.
That was 2007. Joey applied for and received a scholarship,
and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And he’s used his chemistry degree to
springboard into a successful career with Henkel Corporation.
But that isn't where the
story ends with the Moore family.
“It wasn’t long before Joey
started telling me I could do the same thing – that it's never too late to go
to college,” said Lisa, 52. “A light came on inside me.”
Already a pastor at Scott’s
Chapel United Methodist Church in Statesville, N.C., Lisa recently decided to
apply to the Associate Scholarship Program to help finance her enrollment at
Hood Theological Seminary School. She, like her son, was awarded a scholarship
and is on track to graduate in 2018 with her Masters of Divinity degree. At
that point, she plans to focus her efforts full time on the church, pursuing
her dream of becoming an elder and possibly even a chaplain.
And she has quite the
cheering section behind her.
“There are so many people
lifting me up and cheering me on,” Lisa said. That’s why I’ve been with Walmart
for 16 years. My job at Walmart has helped put a roof over my head and raise my
son, and now it has [helped to support] both of our college educations.
“When I enrolled in
seminary, Walmart allowed me to cut back some of my hours to concentrate on
school,” she said. “Walmart has always been flexible with my schedule, no
matter what was happening in my life and I’m so thankful for that. I’m the
biggest cheerleader for this company, not just because of the scholarship
program, but because of how it has looked out for me and my family.”
For more than three decades, the Walmart Foundation has
made resources available to help U.S. associates and their high school senior
dependents fulfill their educational goals through scholarships. More
information is available here.
That’s a line from one of my poems – I’ve been writing inspirational
poetry most of my life. I’ve tried to live by the truth in those words ever
since I was a young child who loved to ride bikes and had dreams of growing up
to be a football player.
When I was five years old, I was confronted with a very real and
dangerous enemy – a brain tumor that was pressing on my optic nerve. Doctors
successfully removed the tumor – likely saving my life – however, when I woke
it was to a world of blindness.
That tumor might have gotten to my sight but it didn’t get my spirit,
and it hasn’t stopped me from dreaming. I still get to ride bikes – I live out
in the country where I can ride freely – and I shifted from a dream of football
to the reality of playing baseball.
Beep baseball, that is.
In beep baseball we use a ball that beeps so you know where to swing
and where to track to catch. The game also has beeping bases so you know where
to run and throw. I play outfield, and I’m pretty good, and so is my team, the
Tyler Tigers. In fact, we’ve traveled to places like Georgia and Minnesota for
the beep baseball championships.
Today I’m working on a new dream – to grow in my career at Walmart.
About 18 months ago I started in a training program with Goodwill that helped
me develop key retail skills. The training included an on-the-job assignment in
the produce department at my local Walmart store in Tyler, Texas.
After proving myself in the Goodwill program, I got an interview with
Walmart, and they hired me on as a permanent associate – I celebrated my
one-year anniversary in February – and now I work in the dairy department. I
used Braille labels on signs when I first started at Walmart so I’d know where
everything was supposed to go; however, I’ve learned my department so well I
don’t even need the Braille signage anymore. If a customer asks me where to
find the butter or milk, I can take her right to it.
I like working for Walmart – they saw how hard I worked while in the
Goodwill program and they worked with me to find a place where I could fit. The
thing I like most is working around other people and helping my fellow
associates get acclimated to working with a person with a disability. The next
step for me is to work with department managers and other leaders in my store
to determine what I need to learn in order to pursue growth opportunities with
I tell everybody that I look at each day as a challenge. I’m ready to
take that challenge head on because I want more for myself and those who come
behind me – I want to leave a legacy that other people with disabilities can
Thirteen years ago, I wanted to work, but I was afraid to fill out a job application. If I got a call for an interview, I’d risk exposing a major hurdle: I didn’t speak English.
At the encouragement of my husband, I applied anyway at our local
Walmart store in Miami. And to my surprise, it all worked out, because what I
was able to communicate – determination – pulled me through.
Growing up in Mongolia gave me plenty of experience being the manager
of my household, as I shopped and cared for my younger sister and brother while
my parents worked nearly 24 hours a day. But I wanted something more for myself
and them, so I started a retail store in my home country to help out. A few
years in, I met my husband, an American who was in Mongolia teaching English.
We married and moved to the United States, where different social norms gave me
the inspiration to run with a new dream: having a career that allows me to be
independent and also provide enough for my children.
Starting at Walmart at entry level, I set a goal for myself to be
promoted every two years. And that has actually happened. More than a decade
later, I have worked my way up to the position of store manager, leading a
Supercenter in Haines City, Florida.
How did I do it? Aside from personal grit, I made my first steps
forward with Walmart's training program for new hires.
Next, I talked to as many people as I could – having regular conversations with
other associates helped me learn English pretty quickly. Later, having the
support of mentors – like my market manager who saw that I had high
expectations for myself – kept me moving further and further.
In the back of my mind, the stark separation of roles between women and
men in Mongolia did impact my self-esteem a little bit. Even though my hard work
was paying off at my job, I still feared things like public speaking, thinking
others would make fun of my accent. But last year, I participated in another Walmart
training program called Champions for Development, where we covered women and
confidence. I sat in the back, quiet, as every woman in my group got up and
spoke about themselves. I thought to
myself, if they can do it, why not me? And I made a personal commitment to no
longer be afraid.
In March, that pledge became very real as I addressed a full auditorium
at Walmart’s corporate office for International Women’s Day. My message was my
story, which was this: If I can accomplish all of this in 13 years without
knowing English at the start, then anyone can do it.
The language I knew all along, perseverance, has
paid off, and now I’m speaking and teaching it confidently to nearly 380
associates in my home store.
Director, Global Associate Communications – Walmart
July 30, 2015
Mention Idaho and
most people think of potatoes, but the state also produces a massive amount of
milk. In fact, it’s No. 4 in the U.S. for milk production and No. 3 for cheese.
No wonder Bruce Payne takes so much pride in his job as dairy manager at the Walmart
supercenter on Overland Road in Boise.
Bruce started working in the dairy department
10 years ago. He moved to grocery for a while, but when the store needed a new
dairy manager, he stepped up. That was eight years ago, and he’s loved it ever
since. All of the milk his store sells is local, and Bruce makes sure his
displays feature locally made cheese. His pride shows not only in the products,
but also in the way Bruce’s team works together to
make their section of the store the best it can be.
“This job is what you
make of it. My manager started as a cart pusher, and all of our assistant
managers started on the ground floor. If you stay focused … and look around to
see what you can do to grow, you can make something of it,” Bruce said. “We’re
here 40 hours a week, so I figure we may as well enjoy what we’re doing and
make a positive impact. We’re a family – a team.”