Before she worked at Amazon, Kimberly was stuck working the overnight shift. The hours were long, and she felt like she had no time to spend with family. Her pay—$11 an hour—wasn't enough to keep up with the cost of living in south Florida, let alone save money.
She knew she needed to try to make a switch when a friend told her she could earn Amazon's starting wage of $15 an hour at the company's fulfillment center a short commute away in Opa-Locka. The friend already worked there and recommended it.
Kimberly applied in the summer of 2019 and convinced her mom to apply, too—"because I love spending time with her. We got hired the same day. We have the same schedule. We commute to work every day. We go home every day together."
The new job brought huge change to her life: "I was unhappy and sleep-deprived. And now [that] I'm working here, I have a better position. When I leave at the end of the day, I'm still energized. And I go home, and I can still run errands and do what I need to do. So I'm happy."
Beyond that, there's the difference she's enjoying by making $15 an hour—more than double the U.S. federal minimum wage and $4 more than she made working the overnight shift at her last job.
"Before, making $11 an hour, it was very hard for me to save money," she said. "It was actually hard for me to pay my bills. I was living in a one-bedroom apartment, and I wasn't able to help my mom at that point. And now I moved into a three-bedroom house with my mom. We have our own rooms. We have our own things now. And my sister can come over whenever [and stay] in the guest bedroom. It's because of that $15 an hour. I would never be able to go back to minimum wage or lower than $15 an hour."
She added, "I believe Amazon is setting a good example for not only Florida but every other state where the minimum wage is below $15."
This is also Kimberly's first job with benefits. Full-time positions at Amazon provide medical, dental, and vision from the first day of work. "That was so incredible for me," she said. "Now I'm able to go to the doctor whenever I need to or just for a regular checkup."
Overall, her job and the life it's making possible bring her closer to achieving the dreams that prompted her and her mom to leave Jamaica and move to Florida. In her experience, Amazon "gives opportunity to everybody, no matter where you're from. And this company also helps you to grow. They're flexible with your lifestyle, and that's what I love."