In October 2017, Amy Shaver unexpectedly found herself in an intensive care unit, having survived a traumatic vehicle accident that resulted in the amputation of her left arm. In mere minutes, her busy lifestyle—holding down two full-time jobs and dreaming of a future as a veterinarian assistant—had been put on hold. Doctors informed her that her injuries would require a year and half to properly heal, and she’d have to learn how to navigate day-to-day tasks in a completely different way.
Ever the optimist, Shaver (who woke up from her amputation surgery and quipped, “Hey mom, look! I get half price on manicures now!”) was motivated by what she felt was a second chance at life. She patiently waited as her physical recovery caught up to her mental and emotional well-being, and as soon as possible, she began to plan her next chapter.
Amazon seemed like a place where I could not only feel proud of the work I’d be doing, but also feel that I could grow with the company.
Her prospects, however, felt frustratingly bleak. Promising interviews changed course when potential employers realized she only had one arm, Shaver said. And while temporary-employment agencies offered occasional work, Shaver hoped for a long-term job that she could turn into a career.
One day in 2020, she saw a commercial on local television promoting available jobs at Amazon’s delivery station in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and felt an immediate connection to the inclusive environment being discussed. Shortly after, she was hired as an Amazon sortation employee.
“Amazon seemed like a place where I could not only feel proud of the work I’d be doing, but also feel that I could grow with the company,” said Shaver, who credits the company’s team mentality among its best attributes.
Shaver said that when she needs support, her colleagues and managers are quick to ask what they can do to best help her achieve her goals. But most importantly, she said, “is that no one questions my abilities.”
She’s simply treated like everyone else and encouraged to try new and different things.
“Her positive attitude is contagious,” said Courtney Burtch, who works in human resources at the Grand Rapids delivery station. “From giving a fellow associate a ride to work or offering suggestions for improvements within the building, Amy strives to see the whole team succeed.”
What’s next for Shaver? She’s got her eye on a variety of different roles within the delivery station but anticipates a continued career with Amazon’s last mile operations in western Michigan.
We believe that building a culture that is welcoming and inclusive is integral to people doing their best work and is essential to what we can achieve as a company. Read more about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Amazon.