New England Village Resident Masters Life, One Karate Rank at a Time

By Jenny Armini, special to the Pembroke Mariner & Express, June 1, 2018


Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) with Peter and his Direct Support Professional, Lan


For Pembroke’s Peter B., happiness means caring for himself — accomplishing the everyday tasks most of us take for granted: dressing, cooking, shaving, laundry.

But achieving self-sufficiency was a journey for Peter—a journey made possible with the help of his Direct Support Professional, Lan Baker.

Peter arrived at New England Village in Pembroke, Massachusetts, as a teen still learning to cope with his intellectual disability. He dreamed of moving into one of the Village’s more independent homes, and he set his sites on acquiring the life skills needed to do so.

He shared his dream with Lan.

“I just want to be happy,” he said. His honesty struck a chord deep within her. Peter’s goal became Lan’s goal. His happiness became her happiness.

“Life is too short,” quipped Lan. “If the folks I work with want to ride in a hot air balloon, I say, ‘Let’s do it! Let’s make it happen!’”

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