Empowering the Future Workforce – Sam’s Club High School Internship Program

March 28, 2023

2 Min. Read
Hayden Adame in Sam's Club

Three simple words can change what happens today, but it’s what you do with those words that can define the rest of your life.

For Sam’s Club High School Internship Participant and now full-time Meat Cutter Hayden Adame, those three words were, “I have cancer.” He never thought he would have to say those words, especially while only in high school, but once they set in, he remained positive, hopeful for the future and was going to take advantage of every opportunity presented to him.

Enter Sam’s Club and the High School Internship Program.

Jayme Adame, Hayden’s mom and Team Lead at Club 6339 in Crystal Lake, Illinois, said as soon as she heard about the program, she knew Hayden would make a great fit. Throughout Hayden’s treatment for stage 4 cancer, he was home schooled, isolating him even more from a typical high school experience, away from friends, teachers and more.

"The internship program really appealed to me for him because it would get him talking and moving and socializing again," said Jayme.

In the fall of 2021, Sam’s Club took an intentional look at the concept of an internship, focusing on high school juniors and seniors, to develop a 10-week program. The rotations were more than a preview of different jobs, they were also learning new skillsets like service to members and how to be resilient. Our benefits team conducted a dedicated rotation around basic life skills – like financial planning, direct deposit, an overview of Live Better U – a free college education – as well as associate access to resources for physical and mental wellbeing. Parents of interns were even involved, participating in orientation week, life skills sessions and graduation.

Hayden excelled within the program, even bonding with his Club Manager, John Regalado, over those three familiar words, “I have cancer.” John shared with Hayden, he was also diagnosed with the same cancer. Through their shared experiences and the course of events that would bring them together, the two were able to lean on one another and provide support that only a few were able to relate to.

We’ve learned a lot through our high school internship program, including the value of belonging. After all, we want every Sam’s Club associate to know they have a place where they are welcomed, encouraged and accepted as who they are, and that is what our High School Internship Program was able to provide Hayden and over 350 interns last summer.

This summer, we are looking to add even more interns in more markets while also working with our community-based organizations to pilot and learn how we can make an even greater impact. To learn more about the High School Internship Program and find openings near you, click here.

Stay up to date, be sure to check back here for more locations to be added.