• MHCC alum Kassidy Johnson gives back through Amazon donation program

    Behind the shipping palettes piled high with Amazon boxes, grinning with their trademark smiles, is Kassidy Johnson, a Donation Specialist for Amazon and a Mt. Hood Community College alumni who found a special way to stay connected with and support the MHCC campus community long after she left it.

    Kassidy Johnson

    A long-time Oregonian, Kassidy attended MHCC in 2017-2018 with an academic focus in general studies and thoughts of pursuing a nursing or health education career. “MHCC forced me to come out of my bubble. It felt like a close-knit community,” Kassidy said about her time on the Gresham campus.

    The college was close to home for Kassidy, providing a cost-effective option with access to the classes and professional fields she was interested in. But even more essential were the campus resources that supported Kassidy outside the classroom—including the student-run food bank, Barney’s Pantry. “I didn’t always put my health first,” she recalled. “Having Barney’s Pantry there was a huge help because they were able to give me something that would be able to get me through the rest of the day.”

    While personal circumstances led her to leave MHCC before finishing her degree, Kassidy stayed close to campus when she started work at the local Amazon fulfillment center in Troutdale.

    “I landed at Amazon thinking it would be a temporary thing to help me get money saved up so I could go back to school,” Kassidy explained. “But I ended up falling in love with my job.”

    When the COVID-19 pandemic struck communities across Oregon and Kassidy watched people around her lose their jobs, she found an even deeper connection to her work and an opportunity to make a difference for both her growing team, as well as the local community: “If I’m going to make a difference, I’m going to make it in a big way. I’m going to be the best person for myself and help others do the same. And that’s actually what I’ve been able to do.”

    Kassidy’s role in Amazon’s community donation program started unexpectedly, when as she was assigned to train team members to process donations during a late-night shift. After a promotion in mid-2020, Kassidy moved from packing donation boxes to managing the program and working directly with the organizations that benefited from it—including Mt. Hood Community College’s very own Barney’s Pantry.

    Amazon’s local donation program supports more than 15 nonprofit and community organizations, such as Oregon Humane Society, Blanchet House, and Mt. Hood Community College. And for Kassidy, lending a hand through her job inspired the same innate desire to help others that first inspired her interest in the health field.

    “It’s what I wanted to do in nursing,” Kassidy said. “I wanted to help others when they needed help the most. I’ve always been that person who is willing to help no matter what—always.”

    The position also supported Kassidy in her journey as a leader. In her role, Kassidy manages a team of six people, which could grow by another three employees in the next six months. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to help develop someone’s skills and make sure I can help make them the best they can be,” she said about growing, managing, and leading a team.

    From her journey as an MHCC student to giving back to her campus community through her work at Amazon, Kassidy brings her legacy as an MHCC Saint full circle. “I went to [MHCC] and actually utilized these resources that I’m now giving back to,” she explained.

    Kassidy Johnson