It’s not always apparent how much work goes on behind the scenes. At Bon Appetit, two of the employees helping the kitchen run smoothly are James Calvert Sewell Jr. and Kegan Zimmerman, who are developmentally disabled adults.
The job is an opportunity for the two to socialize as well as acquire additional skills. “They like to mingle around,” said George McClusick, the College manager of Bon Appetit. “They go around and talk to everybody.”
“We work together as a team,” said Sewell. Currently, the two mostly work in the dish room, although they hope to move on to other tasks soon.
“I’m happy to have them working here because I think they’re very uplifting to people around them, students and co-workers,” said George McClusick. Sewell and Zimmerman are good workers, he said, who do anything they’re asked.
When not working, “I usually wander around downstairs, check the store out, see what they’ve got,” said Zimmerman. Sewell also enjoys looking around. “Sometimes I spend some money down in the campus store,” he said.
But working at Bon Appetit is only one among their many accomplishments. Both participate actively in several different Special Olympics events, and Sewell has sung the national anthem at the Special Olympics in the past.
Both have several gold medals and seem to excel in any sport they try.
“I decided to do snowshoeing this year to see how it is. Came home with three gold medals,” said Zimmerman. He also participates in track and field events. On April 24th, he is going to Penn State University for the Special Olympics national regionals. “I was told I’m going to be on ESPN and there’s going to be like three or four thousand people over there,” he said.
When he gets back, he hopes that McClusick will relax the dress code. “Hopefully I’ll just wear the team USA Special Olympics sweatshirt and sweatpants while I’m working.”
Sewell is also an accomplished athlete. “I do a lot of sports,” said Sewell. “I’ve done soccer, basketball, and bocche…We came in second place last year for softball.” His team also won a gold medal in soccer last year.
The two have several competitions coming up in the future. Sewell has bocche competitions on multiple occasions at St. Andrew’s Church through April, May, and June. On Tuesday, April 28th at Leonardtown High School, the two will compete in a variety of events. And, Zimmerman will participate in a kayaking competition here at the College on July 25th and 26th.
Aside from sports, Zimmerman intends to work towards a culinary career. He hopes to attend Baltimore International College. “I’m going to study culinary arts,” he said.
McClusick hopes to bring in more workers like Sewell and Zimmerman. “To look at you and I who are supposed to be normal, and to look at someone who has a disability – it shows you so much more about life. It’s all straightforward, down to earth. There’s something to be learned from that.”