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.