Bilingual agent looks to bridge gap for Latino clients

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Miriam Amado-Lopez says she always knew she wanted a job that would help her make a positive difference in the world around her... and she found it with the North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance in Mount Olive.

A graduate of Johnston Community College and the University of Mount Olive, Amado-Lopez is a first-generation college student. She says she’s always been encouraged by her parents to embrace education and to take it seriously.

“I have always strived to be at the top level of everything that I do because I know my parents would never say that I owe them, but I do feel like I at least owe them hard work and dedication because they have made a lot of sacrifices for my two siblings and me,” Amado-Lopez said.

Growing up, she said she tried different avenues to help people; for a long period of her childhood she thought she wanted to be a nurse, but changed her mind. It wasn’t until she got to the University of Mount Olive and interned with Farm Bureau that she had an idea as to how she would fulfill her desire to help people, she said.

Once she graduated from UMO in 2018, Amado-Lopez went to work for BB&T in Raleigh where she sold commercial insurance. It only took a few months for her to realize that selling commercial insurance didn’t excite her, she said, recalling that she felt like she was “dying faster because life had become so routine and stagnant.”

A change was looming

Amado-Lopez said she had no idea a change was coming, but it definitely came when she received a call for a job from Farm Bureau. She had interned with the agency in 2017.

“Farm Bureau was where I felt my heart was because they have such a huge emphasis on personal interaction with their customers and that made all the difference for me,” she said. “When I worked at BB&T, once I sold, my clients were gone. I had no chance to follow up with them and that’s why I came here, I want to build relationships with my clients so they know that someone has their best interest at heart.”

Amado-Lopez is the oldest of three and at the age of 21, she already has two degrees and a full-time job. She says she hopes to set an example for her younger siblings, Alex and Jessica.

“...I just want them to see their big sister and realize that if you work hard, literally, you can do anything that you want in this world,” she said.

Being family-oriented helps in the business, she added.

“Of course there are going to be people, who say that they want to treat you like family, but I legitimately mean that. When I’m talking to someone, I go into the conversation wanting to treat my clients like they were my family,” she said. “I don’t mind giving out my personal cellphone and I am willing to make myself available 24 hours for my clients because they deserve to feel like someone is going to go hard for them and I have done that in every other aspect of my life so I will continue that even more so now.”

Amado-Lopez has another advantage. In addition to English, she speaks Spanish ­— a native language for 11% of Wayne County’s population, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“There are a lot of people who might not have insurance or are underinsured and it’s because when they walk into a place, they don’t have someone they can relate to. That is what I’m here for,” she said. “I want all people to know that I will have their best interest at heart... I take pride in being a part of this community now and being the one who can be a bridge for so many people.”

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