Danny Peters lives in the Mobius Chapman Street apartments in Damariscotta. Originally from Boothbay, he graduated from Boothbay High School in 1998. In his spare time Peters competes in the Special Olympics (swimming is his favorite sport) and enjoys video games, rollerblading, taking long walks, and spending time with his cat, Shadow. On weekdays, he works in the Lincoln Academy Dining Hall kitchen.
Peters’ main job is as a dishwasher, but he helps out with other kitchen work as well. “Danny helps me out with pretty much everything,” said LA chef Mikael Andersson, who supervises Peters. “He breaks down boxes, unpacks orders, and makes the best coleslaw ever… he does whatever we need him to do.”
Andersson met Peters about ten years ago at Le Garage in Wiscasset where Andersson was the chef for three years, and Peters was a dishwasher for more than 14 years. Andersson left Le Garage to become the head chef at Colby College, but when returned to a job closer to his own home in Wiscasset, and to Peters’ home in Damariscotta, he said, “I thought of Danny, and I knew he would be a great fit for LA, especially after Le Garage closed.”
Peters works at LA about 30 hours per week, during the busy the breakfast and lunch shift when more than 500 students and staff eat in the Dining Commons. He loves the job and says his favorite part is “working with Mike and the rest of the staff.”
Mobius, Inc. is a Damariscotta-based nonprofit that provides support services for adults with disabilities, According to their website, the organization’s mission includes helping individuals stay connected with their community, providing supported living services, and helping employers successfully employ Mobius clients.
“When people work they are more apt to keep up their level of skill, so when they are at a job they do well in other parts of their life,” said Michaela York, Mobius’s Director of Integrated Services, who has been with the organization for 20 years. “Work is one of the most important parts of what we do: we help people with disabilities find jobs.”
York is pleased with Danny’s employment at Lincoln Academy. “He was very excited to get the LA job because he knew Chef Mikael from Le Garage. The job is going great! He loves it, and really likes going to work every day. He is doing more at Lincoln than he has done before: it is a full time job, with benefits.” According to York, Peters hops to for long-term employment at LA. “Dan worked at Le Garage for many years. He likes to have steady work, and this is a job that he can perform and do well. I know he hopes to be there for the long term.”
Peters lives independently on Chapman Street but he has daily contact with his direct support person, Jordan Romero, who is employed by Mobius. Romero drops Peters off at work every morning and picks him up in the afternoons. The two also spend time together after work, going for rides and getting coffee as well as taking care of weekly errands like grocery shopping.
“Danny works by himself now at LA,” said Andersson, who points out that Peters has come a long way since their days at Le Garage, when Peters needed a Mobius support person in the kitchen with him during his shifts. “He works very independently now. He is a really good worker.”
“Danny puts a smile on our faces every day,” Andersson continued. “It is always fun to see him come in the morning. He is a really good worker, he never calls out sick. Danny brings good dynamic and diversity to the dining services. He knows a lot of the students: they really like seeing him. It is important to me to mentor people where I can, to have our staff be diverse, and set a good example. Danny helps me do that.”