Associate Angel Shanks

Maia Williams is soft-spoken and unassuming but she believes that her job at the Shadyside Panera Bread restaurant is giving her more confidence and the ability to talk to strangers.

“I believe I will become more outgoing,” she said.

Maia, who started at Panera in 2014, expects to graduate from high school in 2017 and then attend college to study journalism.

“I know this is giving me better experience than a typical job,” Maia said.

But there’s more about her job with Panera that she loves. “I work with people that I really like and I know they have a positive influence on me,” she said.

Maia said her family is very proud of her for working. And she said she really enjoys being able to help her mother and sisters financially. “I can help with some bills. Plus, I do spend some money on myself,” she said.

For Maia, her favorite part of her work at Panera Bread is being able to “make someone’s day.”

She said she can have a positive impact on customers simply by “being friendly.”

Maia said it’s not difficult to stay positive at Panera Bread.

“This is really a great job,” she said.

“I work with people that I really like and I know they have a positive influence on me.” – Maia Williams

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