DAWN HARRINGTON: Hi, my name is Dawn Harrington. Five years ago, I was incarcerated on Rikers Island in New York. Today, I'm a doctor of business administration student at Walden University, specializing in international business, and the executive director of Free Hearts.
Incarceration is a global problem. Over 10 million people are incarcerated around the globe. Studies show that 70% of children of incarcerated parents will one day go to prison and only 2% of children of incarcerated mothers will graduate college.
Free Hearts believes that the people directly affected by the problem are the closest to the solution, so our staff is primarily formerly incarcerated women. And we provide education, support, and advocacy to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated mothers and children of incarcerated parents. Walden University is instrumental for helping me to achieve my goal of social change. From my doctoral study, I am researching the barriers to entrepreneurship for formerly incarcerated entrepreneurs.
Also, the most meaningful moment in my life was when I attended the Walden University public service trip this past month. It was my first time ever leaving the country, and I was able to share my story and spread hope by teaching a three-day yoga support group at a women's prison in [INAUDIBLE], Panama. Last but not least, Walden has given me the opportunity to have a second chance in life. I want my life to inspire other formerly incarcerated women so that they can confidently say, if she can do it, then so can I.