Ep. # 30 Donna Hylton Shares Her Story


In a society plagued by injustices, the story of Donna Hylton shines a light on the struggles incarcerated women face and the importance of providing support and opportunities for their reintegration into society. Donna’s upbringing was marred by childhood trauma and human trafficking, setting her on a path of adversity. However, her incredible resilience and determination to make a difference have propelled her towards becoming a leading advocate for criminal justice reform. This article will delve into Donna’s journey, highlighting her challenges, the impact of education during incarceration, the establishment of her organization, and the lessons we can learn from her experiences.

Childhood Trauma & Human Trafficking

Donna’s journey began with being sold into human trafficking at a tender age. Stripped away from her homeland, she experienced sexual abuse and navigated a dark and unfamiliar world. These early traumas shaped her life, leading her into a series of unfortunate events that ultimately culminated in her involvement in a crime she claimed she did not commit.

Involvement in a Crime & Incarceration

Forced into participating in a crime under threat of harm to her loved ones, Donna found herself ensnared in a criminal act. Her co-conspirators leveraged fear and coercion, manipulating her into becoming complicit. This led to an unfair trial and a harsh prison sentence that would change her life forever.

Life in Prison & Road to Healing

Imprisonment proved to be a harrowing experience for Donna. She faced the darkest days of her life, haunted by the weight of the crime she was involved in and the trauma she endured throughout her childhood. However, a glimmer of hope remained within her. Donna found solace in her faith and a deep belief in the inherent goodness of humanity. This belief fueled her determination to better herself and find a way to make a positive impact.

Education as a Path to Redemption

Despite her challenges, Donna recognized the importance of education as a means of personal growth and redemption during her time in prison. She seized the opportunity to obtain two degrees, a testament to her unwavering commitment to self-improvement. Education not only provided her with knowledge but also served as a powerful tool for rebuilding her self-esteem and resilience.

Release and Starting Little Piece of Light

In 2012, Donna was granted parole and began her reintegration into society. During this transition, she established “A Little Piece of Light,” an organization that supports formerly incarcerated women. The organization focuses on legislative advocacy, providing resources for health and well-being, and creating safe spaces for these women to heal and thrive.

Advocacy Work and Impact on Women’s Lives

Through her organization, Donna has touched the lives of many women who have experienced similar circumstances. Success stories have emerged, showcasing the transformative power of support, education, and community. By creating these safe spaces and advocating for change, Donna has instilled hope in these women and helped reshape their futures.


In conclusion, Donna’s story serves as a reminder that adversity does not define a person’s worth. Through her experiences, she has shown us the power of resilience, education, and community support. By coming together and addressing the challenges faced by formerly incarcerated women, we can create a more compassionate and just society for all. Let us learn from Donna’s journey and work towards a future where everyone has the

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