Meet WOMEN’S WAY’s 2022 Change The Narrative Fellows: Donna Simmons

My name is Donna Simmons. I am 45 years of age. I was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. I am a mother of three children ages 25, 23, and 21. They are my reason for breathing and my biggest accomplishment. Being a mother taught me everything I need to know about life. As a mother you need to learn quickly. I learned to multitask. I quickly learned that you must have patience, initiative, hope, endurance, trust, emotional maturity, and love. Absolutely the hardest thing I ever had and wanted to do.

Let me give you some background. I grew up as a shy, introverted, sad, neglected and definitely unloved child. My childhood was full of terror, wrapped in abuse. Almost every day was like a nightmare. There was no one to captain the ship. No one to provide guidance, no one to provide security. Really, no one to look to for love. I cannot express to you in words what that does to a child’s, spirit, emotional maturity, and emotional wellness. These actions from the very people who maybe could have should have had the best inspirations and aspirations for me and my future endeavors did permanently change who I was or maybe should have been.

Of all of these experiences, good and bad, I would not have changed one thing. These and more made me a woman. They allowed me to build this brand-new me. I am Donna Marie. I don’t tell these trials to gain or evoke sympathy, not even empathy. I tell my experiences to scream hope as well as GOD. It is indeed a personal relationship to each person. God is faith in the unseen. For me hope is in the same area of contention. It took me decades to evolve enough to realize you can trust in the possibility of hope, of God. I trust more in those beliefs than I trust the things I can see, hear, feel, and smell.

Donna Simmons for WOMEN’S WAY 2022

Click here to learn more about the Change the Narrative Fellowship Program!



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WOMEN’S WAY is the Greater Philadelphia region’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of women, girls, and gender equity.