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QCC Alumna Sowed An Amazing Future For Herself

November, 2018
  • Quinsigamond Community College alumna Dianna Provencher
    QCC alumna Dianna Provencher puts together some bee hives on her farm, Little Bit Farm and Apiary

As the Business Manager for Central MA Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC), owner of Little Bit Farm and Apiary in Leicester, as well as resident beekeeper and Leicester selectman, mother of two and grandmother of three, Quinsigamond Community College alumna Dianna Provencher is one busy lady. Persevering through challenges has been a way of life since she was a young girl who had to drop out of high school to help her family when her father got sick.

“The three older kids (there were also five younger ones at home) went to work so I never graduated high school but I wanted to be educated,” she said. “I had an early bucket list and wanted my education back.”

Obtaining her education would not come easily. Ms. Provencher became a single parent to two young children, working to support them but also working toward her dream of an education and better life. Ms. Provencher took and passed her GED and when her kids were both in school, began attending QCC. She took classes at night and during the day when she could fit them in between waitressing and taking care of her children.

“I was pretty nervous because I had already missed subjects by not finishing high school. I thought, ‘Where do I start and am I good enough; am I smart enough?’’ she said, adding, “I wanted to have a real diploma. I wanted to have something no one could take away.”

Ms. Provencher quickly found that QCC was a place where she could attain her educational dreams through the help and support of faculty and staff.

“My role models were my professors,” she said. “To this day I have a lot of respect for teachers.”

Ms. Provencher not only graduated from QCC with a degree in Business Administration, she also earned a degree in Data Processing; however, she was far from finished with her educational goals. She said QCC had given her the confidence to believe she could succeed in education, enabling her to continue on and earn her Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from Lesley College. She attended Lesley in the evenings, while working days at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).

After graduating from Lesley College, Ms. Provencher landed a job as a business system analyst with Quantum, the company that had bought out DEC. It would be a job she would hold for 18 years until everyone in her department was let go due to downsizing.

“Now I’m thinking that I’m in my 50s and who is going to hire an older woman. I worked at Walmart for a while, then sent my resume into CMRPC and got hired as an administrative assistant,” she said.

She quickly worked her way to her current position at CMRPC (a position she has held for three years) and has worked for there for over 10 years.

For many, the story might have ended there, but Ms. Provencher’s story is far from ordinary. Along the way she met her husband, bought property, and started Little Bit Farm and Apiary. In 1998, she also began beekeeping after ordering her first packet of bees for her husband’s birthday. Today, she sells honey, makes beeswax candles, lip balm and, when asked, teaches beekeeping to students in Sudbury. She also teaches gardening and has gone to senior centers and had classes at the farm.

In her “spare” time she is a Leicester selectman, a position she has held since 2005. She also spent 18 years on the town’s Conservation Board.

When asked how she could do everything she does, her answer is simple.

“If you have a will you can do it. Single moms need to know that their life is not just stuck. It’s hard, I’m not going to lie, but they need to think, ‘If she can do it, why can’t I?’ You have got to get your foot in the door and you have to keep going. I kept going,” she said, adding, “QCC gave me that confidence.”