LAS VEGAS - Diane Boles knows how to connect with teenagers at a time when many of their own parents can't.
"Peer pressure, running away from home, drugs, getting with the wrong crowd, I'm trying to teach them how to stay in school to better themselves," she said.
It's not something easily learned. Boles, whom the teens call "Lady Di", was raised in many foster homes in Reno. Fortunately, she had a wonderful mentor. When Boles moved to Las Vegas in 1986, she wanted to help young girls like her.
She created a safe place for girls between the ages of eight and 17 to meet.
"It's important to me, ‘cause some girls have same problems at home or in life," said Mikayla Pittman.
Once a week for the entire school year, the girls come to a west Las Vegas home, where Lady Di shows them how to properly keep a bedroom organized. She also provides computers, so they can do research for school.
The computers were donated, but Lady Di foots the bill on everything else, including the building. She lives down the road, but rents the home specifically for the program.
"This is the greatest, because girls don't have this type of stuff at home," said Boles.
Girls are also taught how to set a simple dinner table, where they can also feel comfortable expressing their feelings.
Tamar Russell has been coming to Lady Di's course since she was eight years old. Now 17 years old, she's passing on her message.
"Peer pressure has a lot more to do with how you feel about yourself than how others persuade you," she said. "I think it's very important to continue your education. No matter how hard you have it at home, it's only a point in time, a season in time. It's not going to be like that for the rest of your life."
"Might be one or two, as they grow up, and they might want to do the same thing I'm doing," Boles said. "That's the key, giving back."
"Lady Di is such an awesome person. On behalf of family and friends, she's always putting others before herself," said Yolanda Bennett.
8 News NOW is rewarding Lady Di, awarding her $800 as part of its weekly series Acts of Kindness.
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