“Their futures are ahead of them... I think a lot of them will stay and want to do more.”

Her Class of 2020 Vision with a 2002 Lens

The e-mail with photo attachments couldn’t come fast enough. When it did, Adisa Subasic felt like it was 2002 all over again.

 

“I posted them right away,” Adisa said. “I was so excited.”

 

Adisa is a store manager at Store 3893 in Zion, Illinois. Earlier this summer, she organized a Class of 2020, graduation-themed event for the more than 30 high school seniors who work at her store. Her team hired a photographer to capture the unique memory: socially distanced, masked-up teenagers celebrating an achievement that’s been somewhat shadowed by a pandemic.

 

“He took, like, more than 100 pictures,” Adisa said.

 

For Adisa, the pictures offered a glimpse of a familiar time. She remembered wearing a cap and gown. She remembered wearing her first Walmart vest, too.

 

“It brought my memories back because I started with Walmart when I was 18,” Adisa said. “I started as a cashier.”

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At that time, she was a senior in high school who just moved to the United States from Bosnia to escape the effects of the country’s war with Yugoslavia. Soon after arriving in the United States, she started as a cashier at Walmart to help pay for college. While working as a cashier, she ended up meeting a customer who would later become her husband. Six months into the job, she was promoted. It would be the first of many.

 

“I worked my way up, and then I had the chance to open up a couple Supercenters on the South Side of Chicago,” Adisa said.

 

Fast forward to her current role, where Adisa finds herself setting an example for a group of high school seniors. The group of high school seniors might not yet realize the striking resemblance their experience has to their store manager’s.

 

“I feel like I’m a story to tell them,” Adisa said. “They might be young, and their futures are ahead of them, but if we really let them know about the company, I think a lot of them will stay and want to do more.”

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Adisa shared some of her Walmart experiences at Store 3893’s graduation event. Weeks later, when she got the chance to open up those e-mail attachments, she made plans to post the 100-something photos on a display board in a hallway. Visual reminders of a journey well-traveled and other journeys just beginning.

 

“Walmart was there for me,” Adisa said. “Work with your people, take care of them so they can take care of you.”

 

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