Features

Dianne Driscoll

May 2014

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
Lincoln
425 West Broadway
Tuesday, May 13th
6 – 9 pm

Photography by Deborah McCarthy

 

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Hockey mom, yoga enthusiast, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.

Comments

  1. My son went to Julies for three years and is now in Kindergarten. To this day he tells me Diane is the best teacher ever. I couldnt agree more. Thank you Diane for all you have done for my boy and the children and mothers of South Boston.
  2. you have accomplished so much with so many obstacles yet you continued and never gave up.   You are a wonderful example of a young woman can  do anything if she puts her mind to it.  God bless you for all you do and God blessed all those at Julie’s by placing you there.

     

  3. I graduated my son went there and my daughter still does and loves every moment. Dont know where my children and I would be today if it wasnt for the supportive guidance of this amazing program Im grateful to be a part of it
  4. I’m so glad to see that there are places like Julie’s to help those that are less fortunate do to the enviroment . If I do the math correctly Dianne Driscoll went through drastic changes during her grade school years . Do to the fact that people that sit in an office descide that they should start busing children in & out of community’s , a lot of people like Dianne suffered do to a lack of good education because bussing was more important to the White shirts & ties. I’m so Happy to see that she has perserverd through all the trials & tribulations that life has sent her way, Julie’s has obviosly Helped this young woman find her niche & the Picture of her with the children shows that this is a person that loves her job , She has Heart & Passion! We need more people in the world like her. 

  5. Julie’s is fantastic, and deserves as much support from this community as possible. It is a fact that not everybody starts life with the same opportunities, and some help goes a long way.

    That said – enough with blaming busing for every single things. The young women benefitting from Julie’s were not even born when busing started – and it had absolutely nothing to do with people in offices in shirts and ties – it was a FEDERAL JUDGE.

    Yes, it was a disaster – trying to solve every problem of discrimination on the backs of the working class – both in white neighborhoods and in minority neighborhoods – all it did was pit the have-nots against the have-nots, but in September it will be FORTY years ago.  FORTY!

     Yes, if affected this community, thousands of people moved out and the schools are still climbing back but it is history – there are a lot of things to deal with in SB right now, busing is ancient history.

     

  6. I had no idea you had to go through so much, I wish I could be half the person you are. By the way who is that beautiful boy on the bottom right, he should be in a gerber baby commercial. HE must have great jeans.

  7. Dianne taught both my children at JFLP-Ryan,now 23 and Rachael,now 20.  She is everything and more than what is written in this article.   My son is a successful graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology.  My daughter is just finishing up her 3rdyear at Umass Dartmouth where she is studying to be a special needs teacher.   Dianne and Julies Family Learning Program has definitely helped me break the cycle.  I am proud to know Dianne Driscoll and be a part of JFLP.  I hope JFLP will be around forever so every parent can get what we were blessed to have.