Immediately after graduating from Western Oregon State College with a degree in American Sign Language, Dianne moved to Frederick, Maryland, to work with hearing impaired students in a local elementary school.

She loved the East Coast, but missed her family terribly. After almost 18 months and a lot of soul searching, she returned to Oregon. She wanted to test her abilities in sales and try to make some money by going to work for a company in Portland selling telephone systems.

Time after time, her patience was tested to the breaking point when managers questioned her integrity or suggested she wasn’t trying hard enough to bring in the almighty dollar. Repeatedly she exerted time and energy with frustrating sales results but she never gave up until the day one of those hired to lead her sales team asked her the notorious question: “Dianne, how does it feel to be a failure?”

The mere hint that she had done less than her usual 1,000 percent almost shattered her heart and ripped her confidence to shreds; but, rather than to allow such a statement to scar her resilience, she turned those abusive accusations into her theme song “I Am Woman! Let Me Roar!” that eventually led her to Oregon State University and the countless counseling sessions with students who had also been emotionally ravaged in life’s battles. 

Continue: Di's story, Part 4 - "True Love"