Darren Pederson has worked at Recycle Plus since March 2005. He enjoys the variety in his job, which includes shredding, fibre division and bottle depot jobs and yard work. One aspect he appreciates about the Recycle workplace is the attitude of his co-workers.
There’s a good bunch of people working here and they treat me with respect.
Working with the disabled is very familiar for Darren. He has had experience in community rehabilitation, spending two years as a live-in caregiver. That experience has helped him with his interaction with clients in the workplace.
When I’m working with some of the clients, we just like to laugh and have a good time. That actually makes it refreshing coming to work every day, for me personally. They always put a smile on your face. On top of it, they still do their job.
Darren has known some of the clients he works with for a long time, having met them while participating in a local floor hockey league. He has been involved with Grande Prairie Special Olympics for eight years. Darren’s team won a provincial silver medal at a tournament in Wetaskawin in 1993. He is currently a team captain in the league and looks forward to future competitions. Darren says the trips are always fun, but do require a lot of preparation ahead of time because there are sometimes up to fifty athletes involved.
Taught since he was young to “give people the benefit of the doubt,” it seems fitting that Darren’s work life demands that he keep an open and flexible attitude towards differences in others. He says he learns a lot from the clients, especially to “be happy in everyday life.”
Darren knows that his work at Recycle Plus will give him valuable experience towards his goal of becoming a teacher’s assistant. He says that being a role model is a common element that his present position shares with his intended career.