Dionne Williams Voss began her journey as a young mother to her newborn son just three months after graduating from high school. At the time of her son’s birth, she was residing with her mother and younger brother until her mother informed her that she would have to move out on her own with her newborn and become more independent and self-sufficient. Dionne’s mother relayed to her that she was not financially fit to support Dionne and her newborn child. This was devastating and quite scary to Dionne because she did not feel she was capable of surviving on her own with a newborn child. Dionne was on Welfare, earning $280.00 per month and approximately $150.00 in food stamps. Thankfully, Dionne was accepted into the Warren Village program where she resided and participated as a resident from 1989 until her two-year term ended in 1991.
Throughout Dionne’s residency, she learned, by the assistance and guidance of her assigned counselor of Warren Village to set goals for herself and that was the beginning to a successful path for Dionne’s future.
Dionne applied and was accepted into a Technical Skills Center program, located just a few blocks from the Auraria Campus. In that same building, Dionne’s infant son was also accepted into the daycare program. This worked out perfect for Dionne because it provided her with the opportunity to spend her breaks nursing her infant son. It also provided the opportunity for Dionne and her infant son to maintain a strong bond.
As a customer services representative, Dionne assisted many customers, primarily students from the Auraria Campus who would often inquire about loans to assist with schooling and housing. This experience caused Dionne to dream of a brighter future for herself and her son. She decided to apply to Metropolitan State University, where she was accepted. As a new student in 1990, Dionne selected Human Services as her major, with a mission of serving the youth population. Halfway into the program at MSU, Dionne’s two-year limit at Warren Village had come to an end. She located housing and managed to remain in school throughout. Dionne graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in 1994. After serving two years as a youth counselor, Dionne set additional goals for herself as she had learned from her counselor of Warren Village, making the decision to apply to the Graduate School of Public Affairs at University of Colorado, Denver. She was accepted in 1996 and graduated in 1998 with her Master’s degree in criminal justice. Since that time, Dionne has served as a helping professional in the Human Services/Correctional system.
Dionne was a state and regional recipient of the TRIO Achiever Award as a former graduate of MSU for her achievements and success. She also received numerous awards for her dedication and service in the correctional system.
Dionne is now married with five children and the author of her first memoir, The Shadows of Darkness: Then Came the Light. On June 14th, 2021 Dionne will release her second book; a sequel to her first, titled, Aunt Summer’s Rose.
Dionne will forever be grateful for the guidance she received during her time as a resident of Warren Village and is excited to return and serve as an encouragement to other parents who may be experiencing struggle and hardship in their lives.
Dionne’s motto which kept her persevering in life was a quote by Benjamin Mays which states:
The Tragedy of Life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The Tragedy of Life lies in having no goal to reach.
This was a quote that Dionne posted up on her wall in her Warren Village apartment which contributed to her lifetime success.
Set goals, stay encouraged and keep those dreams alive!