Jan 23, 2024

Meet Tupou: Associate Profile

For nearly 50 years, Tupou called California home. She never imagined that she would end up anywhere else, but she discovered that some feelings are impossible to ignore.

“My husband and I got the prompting to move to Utah,” Tupou recalls. “He was afraid to leave his job of 21 years, but he said, ‘Let’s do it.’ We left it all—our financial stability, our home, everything.”

After arriving in Utah, Tupou learned of an opportunity to work as a DI associate and was excited to put her skills to use. But then, something unexpected happened: she was asked to be a team lead.

“I was hesitant,” Tupou says. “I didn’t work for many years because I was a stay-at-home mom. But I realized that all the skills I learned as a mom apply to any job. They helped me connect with everyone. And being a lead is more than being a leader—it is connecting with your co-workers.”

Tupou embraced the assignment and began establishing relationships with those on her team. She can tell you interesting facts about each of them, including their hobbies, interests, and background.

“There are so many people that I’ve gotten to know on a personal level,” Tupou says. “It makes it enjoyable for us to work together. It’s all about building relationships, looking out for each other, and picking up each other’s slack when someone is hurt or dealing with challenges.”

Tupou is quick to point out that supporting each other is part of the DI workplace culture. When her father was diagnosed with cancer, Tupou’s job coach and team members were there for her.

“This building and the people I work for make me feel safe,” Tupou says. “I feel like this is my second family. They have just been so loving and so supportive.”

Another person who has helped Tupou during her time at DI is her development counselor. Together, they are working on a blueprint that will propel Tupou toward her goal of being a counselor.

“My plan was to get old with my husband, have a bunch of grandkids, and retire,” Tupou says. “But everything that has been happening in my life the last four years is leading me to becoming a counselor.”

Independent of her goal, Tupou recognizes that the skills she is learning will be valuable no matter where she ends up. In addition to learning important workplace behaviors, Tupou has received training in warehousing and cashiering.

“I feel like this position is just well-rounded preparation for any job,” she says.

Thrift store worker looks off in the distance. She is wearing a red apron.