By Cindy Adams

Margaret knows what she wants and how to take the steps to get there. Most recently, she set her sights on getting a job, and she made it happen.

"I think they hired me because of my smile," Margaret said with a grin.

On past jobs, she has had a job coach, but this time she works independently.

"Not having a job coach was a little scary at first," Margaret admitted, "but as I got used to it, it got better and better."

Margaret works at Wendy’s in Bedford, cleaning the dining room and prepping food. She gets paid bi-weekly and is saving her money so she can activate her cell phone. She wants to talk with her family, friends and, of course, her boyfriend!

Margaret has lived at one of enCircle’s Group Homes in Bedford for almost nine years. She says she likes being as independent as possible, but not alone. Her housemates are like sisters.

"They are just like family," explained Mary Baldwin, supervisor of the Group Home. "And I’m just here helping them out as I can."

Margaret started her job search with the Lynchburg Day Support team, who helped her set up an Indeed profile. Then, on her own initiative, she started applying to jobs that appealed to her. She received four call-backs: Wendy’s, McDonald’s, YMCA, and Taco Bell. But it was the supportive Wendy’s manager that made the difference.

"If I need extra time to learn something, my manager makes sure I have that," Margaret said.

Margaret works Monday through Thursday. On weekends, she is the "Facebook Queen."

"She directs her own life. She prepares her own meals in the kitchen, jumps on the rebound machine with her neighbor, and stays on the go," Mary said. "Currently, she is planning a pizza party with her friends for her birthday."

When asked what she likes most about her new job, Margaret’s reply was confident and succinct: "I just like being there."