Employee Engagement Specialist, Philadelphia’s Center for Independent Living
Master of Applied Positive Psychology, University of Pennsylvania ‘15
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine ‘12
Danny Torrance has always been captivated by the fortitude of the human spirit and one’s ability to find hope and meaning in even the darkest moments of life. It’s no surprise that he attributes Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning as the catalyst for his interest in positive psychology. Danny started his career as an eager aspiring social worker, working as a case manager for a non-profit organization that coordinated services to help individuals with disabilities live independently in the community instead of a nursing home. He spent three years in this role and enjoyed working with individuals to remove barriers to independent living while creating opportunities for greater health, happiness, and well-being.
Danny entered the MAPP program enthusiastic about applying positive psychology with individuals and graduated from the program with an interest in applying positive psychology in organizations. As a case manager, he began to notice the adverse effects that stress and burnout can have on staff, which has a direct negative impact on the individuals receiving services. Believing that organizations are a powerful force for good, Danny took a new role in training and organizational development to help keep staff supported, capable, and motivated to provide the best possible services for the individuals they worked with. He currently works as an Employee Engagement Specialist for Philadelphia’s Center for Independent Living and is passionate about promoting well-being at work.
While his 9-5 job primarily involves work at the organizational level, Danny hasn’t lost his interest in working with individuals. He has been a member of the Philadelphia Hoarding Task Force since 2015 and is a member of the education and resource development committees. Through the task force, he’s helped plan conferences, provided trainings to organizations around the Philadelphia region, and participated in an effective hoarding intervention case management program through Metro Housing Boston. In 2019, Danny created a hoarding intervention business to continue his work with individuals and to expand access to supportive services for those with hoarding behaviors.
Danny is extremely grateful for the privilege and opportunity to study positive psychology from world-class researchers and professionals at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the 2014 recipient of the Christopher Peterson Memorial Fellowship, a scholarship award that recognizes outstanding service to others. He will always hold onto Christopher Peterson’s famous three-word summary of positive psychology, “Other People Matter,” as a compass for his work and a reminder of what matters most in life.