Working in a MRF can be rewarding

Yamilet Soto – St. Petersburg

Be Kind

Yamilet is a native of Puerto Rico who moved to Indiana as a teenager so that she could master English. After high school, she went to Indiana University in South Bend, majoring in human resources. During school she had an internship with the City of South Bend and got used to working in an office environment.

She had planned to take a year off after graduation but moved to Florida during COVID and that’s where Yamilet found her first role with Leadpoint: contingent workforce coordinator at the St. Petersburg MRF.

“I always knew I wanted to go into something would give me the chance to make an impact on peoples’ lives and help them in some way, but never thought I’d work in recycling,” she said.

When she first came to the U.S., Yamilet found it very challenging to learn English. She understood it but could not speak the language. “It took me a long time,” she recalls. “What I would do is read as many books as I could to practice my English and learn new words. Then, I had to get out of my comfort zone, try to speak English and trust that I could do it.”

Over time, Yamilet learned more than the language. She learned that it’s ok if you make a mistake; you can always try again. Now, her role as the onsite manager gives her the chance to talk to people in English and Spanish every day, to listen to them and help them the best way she can. And she appreciates that Leadpoint is a second chance employer that gives people an opportunity to recover from their mistakes and try again.

“I feel like I’m making a difference in peoples’ lives, and that they’re feeling supported at work,” she said. Her philosophy can be summed up in two words: be kind. “You never really know what someone’s going through. You could change a person’s day by saying hi and smiling at them,” she said.

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