Vilma Donovan

Vilma Donovan is an actress and formerly incarcerated individual who works at the Fortune Society, a New York-based nonprofit that seeks to "foster a world where all who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated will thrive as positive, contributing members of society."

Hear her story, first hand, below.


"I worked really, really hard while I was there. I found Fortune Society through a connections book and when I was in work release I called and I was able to get a bed at the Castle, which is our transition house.

All my life I never knew where I was supposed to be or where I was going or what my life was and when I walked into this Castle it was an overwhelming feeling of 'Oh my God, I made it. This is where I belong, this is where I'm supposed to be.' And I took off, I worked really hard with my cace managers. I did all the programs here from the workshop, to the outpatients services computer classes- whatever I needed to do to better myself.

I started volunteering which turned into an internship which turned into part time receptionist, full time supervisor, now manager. I just made nine years home last week. It's been  home, it's been lot of struggles coming home from prison. But to have a place that was very supportive and they don't care what you did, there is no judge-mental here they just want to help and that's what I do in the front, when everyone walks in through that door I say welcome home-- because that's what was said to me when I came into that Castle."