By Alan Gionet

DENVER (CBS4) – Dianne Myles works in a classroom containing slick looking computers where she can edit video. It’s part of her dream to be a talk show host, one that had her doing a re-set.

“I was in HR … I had kids really early,” she explained. “And you know they told me I’d be a statistic and blah, blah, blah. So I worked my hardest not to be one of those.”

Dianne Myles (credit: CBS)

But she worked so hard she burned out.

“I was an operations manager for a company, was like extremely unhappy overworked, and just like in a really bad place.”

For Myles, the first thing is her two middle school-aged children De’Quan and T.T. Both sat quietly and studied as Myles talked about her move away from a secure job.

“And I was about to turn 31 and I was in my office and some stuff had happened and I was like, ‘When I die, will I be okay with how I lived my life?’ And I was like, ‘No, I won’t.'”

CBS4’s Alan Gionet interviews Myles. (credit: CBS)

Myles found Emily Griffith Technical College’s classes in video production and editing.

“Dianne is a wonderful student, she’s very motivated,” said video production instructor Shawn Montano.

But like a lot of students, she learning there’s much more to taking on her dream. There’s rent to pay, food, the expenses of her children.

She got help from a unique program called the Emily Griffith 360 Fund. It helps pay the other costs of education — the costs of life.

“And it’s not even spending money, it’s ‘Do I have a ride to school today? Is my car working today,'” said academic advisor Gabe Fischer.

(credit: CBS)

There’s child care, health care, books, the list is long.

“The 360 Fund is really just an important fund for our students to access to really help with some additional things that are going on in their life,” said Fischer.

LINK: The Emily Griffith 360 Degree Fund

Instructor Montano has learned there’s more to teaching than the lectures, it’s listening to his students’ challenges in staying with the program.

“There’s so much more to education that that I didn’t know, including students coming to me and … well, my car broke down, I don’t have any money for my kids or this and so beyond just teaching, I’m looking for help for them for resources.”

The 360 Fund is a way for the school to help people like Myles.

“When you decide that you’re going to leave your comfort and really go after your dreams, I think you’re going to need help along the way,” said Myles. “And the fund was beneficial in the fact that it was there in the two times that I really, really needed it I could access it.”

She used it to help make rent a couple of times.

Myles is finding there’s less to worry about as she shares her creative video blogging under her brand “The Dope Mom Life.”

Her children are her biggest support system. The 360 Fund is just a little extra help.

“They really think I’m like Oprah right now, I’m like, well calm down, I’m still Dianne Myles.”

Alan Gionet is anchor of the CBS4 Morning News and reports on a wide variety of issues and “Good Question” stories. He started at CBS4 in 1994. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanGTV.


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