At age 16, Dianna became involved with the Youth Leadership Advisory Team (YLAT), an advocacy group facilitated by the Muskie School and composed of young people with firsthand experience of Maine’s foster care system. While working with homeless and at-risk youth, she became convinced that improving the lives of those growing up in the foster care system could best be met through policy changes.
This led Dianna to the Muskie School of Public Service, where, in addition to her studies, she worked as a graduate assistant conducting research on siblings and transitions of older youth from foster care into adulthood.
Dianna now works as a policy associate with the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, whose mission is to bring together the people, systems, and resources necessary to assist young people leaving foster care in making successful transitions to adulthood.
“An Assessment of the Economics of Natural and Built Infrastructure for Water Resources in Maine" (authors, Charles Colgan, Damon Yakovleff, and Samuel Merrill)
“Leadership in a Changing Environment: A Leadership Model for Child Welfare,” published in Administration in Social Work (author, Freda Bernotavicz)