Sometimes big change happens from one small step.
One day, over 30 years ago, Dianne Driscoll’s life took a dark turn. Her oldest child Michelle died of complications from cerebral palsy. Struggling to cope with the devastating loss and a crumbling marriage, Dianne still had to care for for her two small children Joseph and Kristin. Not knowing where to turn, a friend of Dianne’s recommended Julie’s Family Learning Program. That ray of hope came just at the right time for Dianne.
“Julie’s helped me to get my high school diploma. They also taught me ways to cope and grow stronger as a mother. I went on to college and earned my associates degree in early childhood education.”
Julie’s Family Learning Program is changing the fabric or our community one family at a time. Women and their children go to Julie’s to transform their lives. Typically living in unstable, unhealthy and sometimes even dangerous situations, these strong women come to Julie’s to learn how create a new and improved life for themselves.
Dianne’s courage – combined with some valuable guidance and life tools from Julie’s – was able to turn around an overwhelming dismal situation to a positive, productive and happy life. 26 years ago, Dianne began working at Julie’s. She is currently the coordinator of childcare services. “A typical day for me at Julie’s involves being flexible and open to whatever occurs that day! In general, before the children arrive, I prepare the classroom, and get ready to greet the mothers and toddlers with a warm welcome. I spend my day teaching, nurturing and making sure that all the toddlers have a fun, enriching experience. At the end of the day, I make sure that I report to each mom something that their child learned or accomplished!”
Dianne finds her job extremely rewarding in knowing that she is hands on in helping these young families make positive changes in their lives. “I love having the opportunity to nurture not only the children but the mothers too,” says Dianne. She encourages the mothers to keep chasing their dreams and to never give up. She tells them, “No matter how stuck you are or what your obstacles are, don’t stop learning and growing. Every day, I am learning. It keeps me going and growing. It will work for you too!”
Dianne grew up in South Boston but bought a house in Weymouth seven years ago a where she now lives. She has three grown children: Joseph, 34, Kristin, 32, and Timothy, 20. She is also raising her niece Hannah, 18, since she was 3 months old. She is a proud and loving mother to not only her children but to the children of Julie’s as well.
When asked about the most rewarding part of being a mother, Dianne smiles and says, “For me, the best part of being a mother is seeing my children grow, helping them through challenges, sharing in their accomplishments, and sharing love.”
According to Bob Monahan, Director of Operations at Julie’s, Dianne is a true example ofJulie’s mission – she has broken the cycle of poverty and charted a new life for herself and her children. “Dianne Driscoll is a model parent, trusted professional, sage mentor and a most caring and gifted teacher. As Dianne has recounted in her own words the multiple struggles of the parenting journey, her ultimate journey, one of perseverance and success. I applaud Dianne’s willingness to share her story and urge all to celebrate the wonderfulness of this awesome graduate, mother, teacher and friend,” says Bob.
We applaud her too!
If you would like to learn more about Julie’s Family Learning Program, please visit: http://www.juliesfamily.org/
Julie’s Family Learning Program’s Friendraiser
425 West Broadway
Tuesday, May 13th
6 – 9 pm
Photography by Deborah McCarthy