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Diane Semper, Teachers Assistant, Early Childcare Learning Center

To dedicate 35 years to any one organization, cause, or mission is to dedicate a lifetime. For Diane Semper, this year marked her 35th dedicated to the Children & Youth programs at BronxWorks -- 35 years and still counting. We spoke to Diane to see what lay behind that level of commitment, and she made it immediately clear that it's all about the kids.
"I'll probably be here until I'm 65m or until NYC says you can retire," Diane says."
Diane was raised in the Melrose section of the Bronx. She grew up knowing the building at 1130 Grand Concourse as a YWHA. In 1985, as a 16 year old, Diane took a summer job at the Girls Club of New York at 1130 Grand Concourse working for a summer youth program, and she has basically stayed every since. In 1995 when BronxWorks, then the Citizens Advice Bureau, merged with the Girls Club of New York, she stayed on through the merger. 
Like so many BronxWorks employees, Diane embodies the spirit of giving back and uplifting her community. Throughout her decades at BronxWorks, Diane has worked with hundreds of children  and students of all ages. She continued to stay because she felt that the programs offered so many wonderful things to the children. Currently, she is a Teachers Assistant with the Early Childcare Learning Center at the Carolyn McLaughlin Community Center working with our youngest learners.  
Diane takes pride in the activities they do with children in her programs. "It feels good to know that you were a part of a child's life where you helped them develop into productive, responsible, and loving adults," she says.  
BronxWorks summer and afterschool programs utilize thematic work to address learning loss, organizing lessons like Explorers of the Grand Concourse, where counselors take students through the Bronx and give them a history of the borough through writing, reading, poetry, and arts and crafts. Diane said that, "We can take play and use it in a way to help children improve in academics, social skills, and other relationships they will have in their lives." Counselors are also keen to celebrate every accomplishment of their students, such as graduations, strong report cards, or special awards, to show that they are just as excited by these success as their students. 
These are the qualities that make Diane so beloved among her students and their families. Years later she still keeps up with several of her students and she speaks about them with joy and pride for what they have made of themselves as young adults. There are even examples of some of Diane's students who are now employees of BronxWorks. Outside of work, Diane likes to travel, read, and cook for others. She and a close group of friends who have all worked at BronxWorks at some point in time have a book club called Sisters on the Go Book Club. The group, which includes the beloved and missed Suzette Walker, have been friends for over 20 years. 
Previous BronxWorks Stories

#88 Staff Profile: Diane Semper

#87 Staff Profile: Usufu Gumaneh

#86 Staff Profile: Juan Rivera

#85 Staff Profile: Karla Velasquez

#84 Staff Profile: Anthony Horne

#83 Staff Profile: Carolina Espinosa & Rachel Gill

#82 Staff Profile: Andrew Lin

#81 Staff Profile: Sarah Kimball

#80 Staff Profile: Natalie Villanueva

#79: 2020 25 & 20-Year Staff Recognition

#78 Staff Profile: Devin Duran

#77 Staff Profile: Rachel Onijoko 

#76 Staff Profile: Dominique Jackson

#75 Staff Profile: Phillipa Quan

#74 Staff Profile: Tiffanie Dorch

#73 Staff Profile: Rasheed Brown

#72 Staff Profile: Andrea Kepler

#71 Staff Tribute: Lloyd Dennis and Suzette Walker 

#70 Staff Profile: Michael Jackson

#69 Staff Profile: Stephanie Wingert

#68 Staff Profile: Timeka Toussaint

#67 Staff Profile: Gordon Miller

#66 Staff Profile: Michael Plummer

#65 Staff Profile: Marie Edwards

#64 Staff Profile: Kiesha Roberts

#63 Staff Profile: Yvette Felicia Thomas 

#62 BronxWorks Welcomes Atlas Corps Fellows

#61 Staff Profile: John Betts 

#60 Staff Profile: Tyron Johnson

#59 Staff Profile: Genesis Mejia

#58 Staff Profile: Angel Vazquez

#57 Staff Profile: Lijo Varghese 

#56 Staff Profile: Tiffany Martinez 

#55 Staff Profile: Solomon Smart

#54 Staff Profile: Alissa Tyghter-Gerald 

#53 Staff Profile: Reinaldo Cruz 

#52 Staff Profile: Estrella Montanez 

#51 Staff Profile: Adriana Puello

#50 Staff Profile: Evan Hahn, Bessie Taliaferro, Allison Gangi 

#49 Staff Profile: Issa Asiedo

#48 Staff Profile: Agnes Manson

BronxWorks remembers Carmen Hernandez

#47 Staff Profile: Tiesha Scott

#46 Staff Profile: Noel Gonzalez

#45 Staff Profile: Dorothy Whyte

#44 Staff Profile: Diami Virgilio

#43 Staff Profile: Whitney Sample

#42 Understanding Diversity in a Multicultural Community

#41 Rachel B. – On the path out of poverty


Click below to read the 40 BronxWorks Stories that highlighted our 40th anniversary year

#40 Carolyn McLaughlin – One Family Meets Another

#39 Robin Hood and BronxWorks – Synergy in Fighting Poverty

#38 The BronxWorks Board of Directors: Time, Talent, Treasure, and Terrific!

#37 Betances Community Center Advisory Board: “We have PhDs in ‘street’!”

#36 20+ Years of Careers in Service at BronxWorks

#35 Camila R. – By helping another, she helped herself

#34 Jean Smith – A Lifetime of Caring and Lifting Lives

#33 BronxWorks Partners: These Landlords are Building Futures and Community

#32 FEPS – Reducing fear, confusion, and homelessness

#31 Horatio G. – Building his future through language

#30 BronxWorks Blue Waves – Swimming for Fun, Fitness & the Future

#29 Abubacar W. – Big Steps for a Little Boy

#28 Bedtime Stories – Lifting lives through reading & caring

#27 Tyrese M. – “I get another family”

#26 Eva M. – Intra-agency collaboration results in happiness and a home

#25 KC, Shannon, & Christopher – Making Children’s Lives Better

#24 Veronica, NCJW, and HIPPY – “Not alone in this journey through life”

#23 Maria R. – A 23-hour bus ride and her faith saved her life

#22 Ronald G. – "Crossing a bridge to better health and stability"

#21 Stephanie M. – From Attitude to Aptitude

#20 "Reweaving the social fabric of a neighborhood"

#19 Catherine M. – "I'm not a sit-down kind of person!"

#18 Judy Leonard – A Letter to BronxWorks Friends

#17 Rachea C. – Achieving Milestones, Step by Step

#16 Eric Hill – Miles & Music

#15 BronxWorks and Super Storm Sandy – Dedication, stamina, and grace personified

#14 Milagros R. – One dress, many dreams

#13 Heights seniors take the healthy lead

#12 Nidia R. – Minor repairs = major relief

#11 Homeless Outreach Team – Feeling Connected to the World

#10 Cristina, Raymond, Crisbelly & Aaron – Growing up at BronxWorks

#9 Jeniffer M. – From the South Bronx to South Africa: the visit of a lifetime that almost didn't happen

#8 Nathaniel S. – "I'm right there beside you"

#7 Diana S. – Overcoming tragedy: "I'm still here"

#6 Irodney P. – "I want to earn it not have it handed to me"

#5 Natividad C. – A bond of mutual respect and genuine affection

#4 Michael J. – "What was given to me was given freely"

#3 Kathryn Speller – Retiring from work, not her passions

#2 Alfredo C. – "Thanks to you, Dad"

#1 Jonathan P. – Striving for Excellence

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